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Here's how much Walmart says store employees are making

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/8/2019 Dennis Green

Walmart employees on average are making more money than they did a year ago.

The company released its first environmental, social and governance, or ESG, report Wednesday. It showcased areas of growth in the company's related missions, including offsetting its contribution to climate change and working on human-rights issues in its supply chains.

The report also said the average wage for full-time, hourly employees in its stores is now $14.26 an hour as of March 2019, up from the $14.08 average the retailer reported in 2018.

Average hourly compensation with all benefits included is $19.31.

"We think better than focusing only on what's that lowest starting wage, it's better to talk about ... What's the average wage?" Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart's chief sustainability officer, said, explaining that employees are encouraged to work toward moving up with the company.

The education benefits that Walmart employees have access to are designed to help them in their current job and beyond, so they aren't stuck at the $11 an hour starting wage for long.

"Importantly for us its the investments we're making in training and education," McLaughlin said. "That's a big part of our strategy is people can come in and get access to try to give them a great job, good wages and benefits. So they have a stable start, and then working on mobility to help them move up."

Walmart says it has promoted 215,000 of its US store employees to "jobs of greater responsibility and higher pay" during its 2019 fiscal year.

Walmart has been investing heavily in its employees as the labor market tightens. In the past few years, it has committed to invest $2.7 billion in training and education programs for its workers, raised its starting minimum wage to $11, and expanded maternal and parental leave benefits.

It seems to have had an effect. Walmart says its turnover rate for store employees is down 10% to the lowest level in five years. 

Related video: Jeff Bezos challenges competitors to match its employee pay, benefits (provided by CNBC)

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