Walmart (WMT), the nation’s largest private employer, is raising wages for 565,000 of its nearly 1.2 million store associates, marking the retailer’s third wage hike for hourly associates in the last year.
“Effective Sept. 25, associates in the Frontend, Food & Consumable and General Merchandise work groups will receive at least a $1 an hour raise. That means a raise for more than 565,000 store associates. It's our third wage investment in store associates over the past year,” U.S. CEO John Furner wrote in a letter obtained by Yahoo Finance.
With the latest wage increase, the average hourly wage for Walmart’s U.S. store associates is $16.40, according to Furner.
Back in March, 425,000 store associates in the digital and stocking workgroups saw an increase to a range of $13 to $19 per hour, depending on location and market. Last September, Walmart raised wages for 165,000 of its hourly associates in its Supercenters. At the time, the retailer said its newly-created "team lead" roles would see a pay range between $18 and $21 an hour with the ability to go up to $30 an hour. Walmart also increased its hourly wage for associates in the deli and bakery areas to $15 or higher and said its hourly auto care center workers would also see a pay increase.
According to Furner, “entry-level associates promote to roles of greater responsibility and higher pay within about seven months.”
“And the possibilities only continue from there; approximately 75% of our U.S. salaried store, club, and supply chain management teams started their Walmart careers in an hourly role,” Furner added.
In Thursday’s memo, Furner touted some of the recent benefit announcements during "another trying year," from enhanced well-being benefits like free counseling and paid time off to making the debt-free Live Better U college program completely free. He also noted that the stores will be closed again on Thanksgiving Day.
Last month, Walmart reported better than expected second-quarter revenue and sales results. The retailing giant saw quarterly revenue of $141 billion and comp-store sales up 5.2%, topping Wall Street forecasts.
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.