Walmart increases pay

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is about to raise the pay of more than 1.2 million associates as part of a tiered program to improve employment benefits and wages.

Beginning Feb. 20, all associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 will earn at least $10 per hour. Those already earning that amount will receive an annual pay increase in February rather than waiting for their anniversary date. New entry-level associates will continue to earn $9 per hour and then move to the $10 rate after completing a new training program dubbed Pathways.

There are a number of other changes for those in different payment tiers, but when all is said and done, Walmart's average full-time hourly wage will be $13.38 per hour and the average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58 per hour, according to the company.

It's one of the largest single-day, private-sector wage increases ever, said Walmart in a statement.

Walmart announced in February 2015 that it would increase employee pay.

Additional new benefits include a simplified paid time off program and enhanced short-term disability plans and training programs.  

"We are committed to investing in our associates and to continuing to simplify our business. When we do so, there is no limit to what our associates can accomplish," said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. "Our customers and associates are noticing a difference. We're seeing strong increases in both customer experience and associate engagement scores. Five straight quarters of positive comps in our U.S. business is just one example of how helping our associates grow and succeed helps the company do the same."

Walmart is also trying to right its growth plan, closing stores and refocusing on the supercenter format and digital channels.

For more:
-See this Walmart press release

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