© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A person waits at a Walmart Pharmacy in West Haven, Connecticut, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Walmart Inc said on Thursday it would increase the average pay of pharmacy workers to more than $20 per hour and offer more frequent and automatic pay raises as part of a new “progressive wage model” amid a tight domestic labour market.

The raises will be offered to more than 36,000 Walmart (NYSE:) and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians beginning this week, the company said in a blog post.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, also said it would hire about 5,000 additional pharmacy technicians this year.

It would be the second pay increase over the past year for Walmart technicians, who last received raises in August 2021.

The company will also offer more frequent and automatic pay hikes as part of a wage model “designed to set us apart from the competition.”

New pharmacy technicians, for example, will get raises that can add up to $4 to their hourly starting base pay over the course of four years under this plan, the company said.

They will also get pay hikes every six months in their first two years with the company.

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