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Wal-to-Wal jobs

by Brian Walker
| June 11, 2010 9:00 PM

POST FALLS - Wal-Mart will start the hiring process for 600 jobs at its two new local stores on Monday.

The process for the new Post Falls store near Cabela's starts on Monday and the Hayden store along U.S. 95 on July 5.

The hiring center for both stores will be at 1602 E. Seltice Way, Suite D, in Post Falls. The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Job seekers can pick up and fill out an application at the center or online at www.walmart.com/apply starting Monday.

The Post Falls store will open on Aug. 18, the Hayden store in mid-September.

"The Hayden store will hire between 300 and 350 associates, while the second Post Falls store will hire about 250 to 300," said Josh Phair, company spokesman.

Phair said the ratio of full-time jobs vs. part time hasn't been determined and varies from store to store, depending on the applicant pool.

Phair said people won't be hired on a first-come, first-serve basis so there's no need to rush in first thing Monday, but hiring will begin soon because some jobs will start about a month prior to the stores opening.

"People can indicate which stores they're interested in on the application," said Phair.

As of April 2010, the average wage for a full-time Wal-Mart associate in Idaho is $11.41 per hour, according to the company.

However, Phair said many associates won't start out that high.

"It depends on the job and other factors (such as experience)," Phair said. "There's so many different types of jobs that we just like to put the average hourly wage out there."

Phair said both full- and part-time employees are eligible for store performance bonuses, health and dental coverage that they pay for and 401(k) plan/profit-sharing plans.

Alivia Body, Idaho Department of Labor regional economist, said it remains to be seen what the overall effect of two more Wal-Marts will be on Kootenai County. It could be a mixed bag.

"Six hundred jobs would be an economic boost, but it may also take away from existing businesses in the area," Body said. "That would be my only concern."

Body said the $11.41 an hour wage seems a bit high for this area, considering wages for most cashiers in the area range from $8.85 to $10.25 and most retail sales workers make between $9.52 and $11.89.

The company said it plans to keep its existing Post Falls store on Mullan Avenue open.

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