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Walmart to raise minimum wage

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Walmart expects the raises will bring its U.S. average hourly wage to more than $17.50.

Walmart is raising wages for its U.S. employees as companies continue to compete for frontline workers.

The nation’s largest private employer said that, starting next month, it will begin investing in higher wages for employees.  The investment includes a mixture of workers’ regular annual increases and targeted investments in starting rates for thousands of stores “to ensure we have attractive pay in the markets we operate,” John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart U.S., told employees in a note on the company’s web site.

Walmart expects the raises will bring its U.S. average hourly wage to more than $17.50. The increases will reflected in March 2 paychecks.

In addition, Walmart said it is continuing to invest in its Auto Care Centers (ACC) employees. On the heels of a higher-paying ACC “coach” role that debuted last fall, the company is introducing a higher-paying ACC team lead position and elevating the ACC tech position to a higher pay-band “that reflects the special skills needed for the role and its importance to our business,” the company said.

Walmart is also enhancing other benefits and programs to attract and keep employees. The retailer is adding new college degrees and certificates to our Live Better U (LBU) education program, with the new options focused on where “our business is headed and will equip associates with skills to unlock new career opportunities,” said Furner.

The LBP program is open to both part-time and full-time employees on their first day. Walmart covers 100% of the tuition and fees.

[Read More: Walmart to pay 100% of college tuition, books for employees]

Also, as the company announced last week, it is expanding its Associate-to-Driver Program, which pays for supply chain associates to earn their commercial driver's license and become a Walmart

truck driver, earning up to $110,000 in their first year. The company is now making the program also available to store associates.

“We’re proud to continue investing in Walmart’s legacy by introducing new job opportunities and raising pay,” stated Furner. “No matter where you are in your journey, getting your start here can open doors – the first step into jobs that become careers and build better lives.”

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