Walmart raising wages at least a $1 an hour for more than 565,000 store employees

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Walmart says it’s committed to investing nearly $1 billion over the next five years in career-driven training and development.

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Walmart is raising the pay for more than 565,000 store employees.

The world’s largest retailer announced Thursday that U.S. store workers in its frontend, food and consumable, and general merchandise workgroups will receive at least a $1 an hour raise.

The increase goes into effect Sept. 25, Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner said in a letter to employees.

“It’s our third wage investment in store associates over the past year,” Furner said. “The investment means that over the past year, we’ve raised pay for approximately 1.2 million hourly associates in our U.S. stores, increasing our U.S. average hourly wage to $16.40.”

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In March, the company raised the pay for 425,000 store workers in its digital and stocking workgroups. Last September, Walmart announced it was giving approximately 165,000 hourly workers a raise by introducing new leadership roles and “cross-training opportunities.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in February the company has increased starting wages by more than 50% since 2015. The retailer has about 1.5 million employees in the U.S. at more than 5,000 stores and Sam’s Club locations.

Walmart announced in July it will pay for college tuition and books for its part-time and full-time associates at a group of schools.

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Like other retailers, Walmart is facing rising costs for everything from labor to shipping as supply chain backups hit companies worldwide.

“We’re continuing to see a bit more cost inflation than normal, but our merchants are working with suppliers and monitoring price gaps to keep prices low while managing margins,” Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said Aug. 17 during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group.

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