Viral TikTok about Target’s new starting salaries sparks Sebate

Some Target stores are increasing their starting hourly wage, sparking a viral reaction from a TikToker. If Target pays better than a nurse, why would she stay in the medical field?

“@target where should I send my resume?” wrote TikToker @thatnurseriley, posing in front of a news article with the caption “Target starting salary increased to $24.” Lip-synchronizing with the audio saying, “That’s enough,” she takes off her stethoscope and puts it in her purse, pretending to be quitting her job as a nurse.

Her TikTok struck a chord, attracting 2.2 million views in less than a week. People have strong views on minimum wage increases — and some have expressed doubts as to whether the “$24 an hour at Target” headline is actually accurate.

“Me as a target employee wondering where my 24 an hour is,” one commenter wrote, accompanied by a laughing emoji. “Up to $24/r only in certain cities and certain locations,” wrote another, adding, “Target doesn’t guarantee full-time hours either.”

“For someone working on the goal, it’s a PR stunt. Don’t believe a word they say,” demanded another.

However, some commenters sympathized with @thatnurseriley and said they were also underpaid while working as nurses. “To think I started out as a nurse in an understaffed medical department for less money,” one wrote. “More than what I deserve…bye medical,” agreed another commenter.

The headline featured in this TikTok is from a message on, and the body of the article contains a caveat. The goal is not to increase everyone’s starting wage to $24. That’s actually the upper end of the scale, with starting wages ranging from $15 to $24. And as many of the @thatnurseriley commenters pointed out, an hourly wage doesn’t mean much if you’re not guaranteed full-time hours. “$24 Starting Wage” is a good headline, but it doesn’t reflect the reality of working retail.

The Daily Dot contacted @thatnurseriley via TikTok comment and Target’s press department via email.

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*Initial publication: March 10, 2022 9:21 am CST

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction films and superheroes, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she is the co-host of the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw Viral TikTok about Target’s new starting salaries sparks Sebate

Jaclyn Diaz

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