From Illinois Business Journal news services
Walmart is making a $2.7 billion investment over two years in its U.S. workforce to raise wages, improve training and increase scheduling flexibility.
The company is investing $46.4 million, resulting in 37,400 additional raises for associates in Illinois. By February, the new full-time average hourly wage in Illinois will be $13.43 an hour and $10.63 an hour for part-time associates, the company said.
Over the past year, Walmart has increased wages in three phases beginning in April by moving its starting rate to at least $9 an hour. In July, the company increased wages for more than 100,000 associates in specialized positions, like wireless or deli associate, and department managers. In February 2016, Walmart will raise wages for associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016, to at least $10 an hour, $2.75 an hour above the federal minimum wage.
Hourly managers of the company’s more complex and service-oriented departments will earn at least $15 an hour. Associates hired beginning Jan. 1, 2016, will start at $9 an hour and move to at least $10 an hour after successfully completing the company’s new Pathways training program, the company said.
Since the first phase of pay raises went into effect, Walmart said its customer experience scores and associate engagement numbers have increased. The company also announced during its third quarter earnings that U.S. comp-store sales were positive for the fifth straight quarter and customer traffic was positive for the fourth straight quarter.