Originally published in Baltimore Sun

Walmart plans to give raises to more than 17,000 workers in Maryland by February, bringing the new full-time average hourly wage to $12.92 and $10.61 an hour for part-timers, the retail giant said today.

The $23 million the mass discounter is investing in raises and training for workers in the state is part of $2.7 billion to be spent over two years on the national workforce.

The retailer has increased wages in three phases since April, moving its starting rate to at least $9 an hour. The company in July raised wages for more than 100,000 workers in specialized jobs such as wireless or deli associate and for department managers.

The February raises -- all at least $10 an hour -- will go to workers hired before Jan. 1, 2016. Managers will earn at least $15 an hour.

Walmart, which in the third quarter saw its fifth straight quarterly increase in comparable store sales, said its customer experience scores have increased since the first phase of raises took effect.

The retailer also said it is increasing scheduling flexibility for workers.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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