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Walmart Gives 500,000 Employees A Pay Raise

Exterior of Walmart in San Jose, Calif.,  The retailer says it will raise hourly wages for thousands of full and part time employees.
Paul Sakuma AP
Exterior of Walmart in San Jose, Calif., The retailer says it will raise hourly wages for thousands of full and part time employees.

Some 500,000 Walmart employees will soon be getting a pay raise. Starting in April, the company's full and part-time U.S. employees will earn at least $9.00 an hour, at least $1.75 above today's federal minimum wage.

The pay boost will also apply to employees of Sam's Club, which is owned by Walmart.

The retailer says wages will jump to at least $10.00 one year from now.

The move comes as part of a restructuring by the retailer. The Associated Press says Walmart is trying to shake its image as a store that offers dead-end jobs, and is spending $1Billion to make changes how it pays and trains hourly workers.

The retailer plans to adjust how employees are scheduled for work, and add more training programs which Walmart says will help employees create clear career paths in order to move from entry level positions to jobs with more responsibility.

The announcement came as Walmart announced its fourth quarter results. The company said sales in stores open for more than one year were up 1.5%.

The pay raises dovetail with efforts by President Obama to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

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