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BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said yesterday that its average hourly wage for full-time store associates rose from $9.68 to $10.11 in 2005, a period in which the world's largest retailer created more than 125,000 new jobs.
"This is the result of our company growing to meet the demands of our customers and our total commitment to attracting and retaining the best associates possible," said Lawrence Jackson, e.v.p. for the People Division for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in a statement. "When we open a store, we often receive thousands of applications for just a few hundred jobs. That's because working men and women know that our jobs pay competitive wages, and offer quality benefits, including affordable health insurance, and career growth opportunities."
In some markets, particularly urban areas where the cost of living is more, the average full-time hourly wage for Wal-Mart associates rose higher. It rose to $11.58 in Denver, $11.49 in Boston, $11.11 in Atlanta, $11.05 in San Francisco, $10.78 in New York, $10.98 in San Diego, and $10.29 in Los Angeles.
Wal-Mart said all of its full-time and part-time associates are eligible for health benefits after a waiting period in line with that of other retailers. In some areas, individual health coverage is available for as little as $11 per month and just 30 cents more per day for children. In every market, individual health coverage is available for as little as $23 per month. More than three- fourths of Wal-Mart associates have health insurance, either through a company plan, a spouse's plan or Medicare, according to Wal-Mart.