By: Ben Whedon
Walmart on Tuesday announced that it would raise pay for thousands of its workers and invest in improved education opportunities for its employees.
>>"At Walmart, we know our people make the difference. That's never been more true than today – your talent and dedication to your customers is helping them live better lives every day," read a memo sent to U.S.-based associates from Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner. "And as you continue to focus on your customers, we're focused on investing in you – our store associates – through higher wages and new opportunities to gain the skills to serve tomorrow's customers and grow a career with Walmart."
The company expects that its increases will bring the nation-wide average company wage to more than $17.50 per hour. The company-wide minimum wage will rise to $14 per hour beginning with employees' March 2 paychecks, according to CNBC.
The company raises are expected to apply to roughly 340,000 workers nationwide, about 21% of the company's total workforce. Walmart is one of the nation's largest employers, with 1.6 million people working for the retail giant.