Walmart has announced a pay increase for employees. From the company website:

More than 1.2 million Walmart and Sam’s Club associates will receive a pay increase in 2016, the company announced Wednesday.

Walmart says the raise is part of the “second phase” of the company’s $2.7 billion investment in workers. The raise is set to take effect February 20th, and Walmart calls it “one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever.”

Under the increase, all associates hired before January 1st, 2016 will earn at least $10 per hour. New entry-level associates will start at $9 per hour and move to $10 an hour through training.

Associates already earning more than $10 per hour will receive an annual pay increase in February, rather than waiting for the anniversary of their hiring.

Walmart says when the changes go into effect, the company’s average full-time hourly wage will be $13.38 per hour.

The company also says it is streamlining vacation, sick leave, and personal time off for associates, as well as adding a new short-term disability program.

An earlier pay raise had some negative consequences, particularly from older employers complaining that the raises tended to favor newer employees. Some critics contended the cost contributed to Walmart’s lackluster market performance.


Some others in the industry have used better pay as a tool to improve work performance. Unionized Costco has long outpaced Walmart in employee pay — and, coincidentally, also in earnings.