Walmart says it will hire 60,000 holiday season workers

NEW YORK - Walmart (WMT) says it will hire 60,000 employees to meet increased shopping demand over the holiday season.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday it will have more employees in stores and more registers open during peak hours, and it plans to add department managers at 3,500 stores. Walmart says current employees will have the first choice to pick up additional hours.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also hired 60,000 people for holiday season jobs last year, but says it has more employees working more hours in its stores than it did in 2014. The company says most of its holiday-season employees stayed with the company after the holidays ended.

Earlier this year Walmart raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour from $7.25, giving a raise to about 500,000 employees. Walmart also said it would give employees more control over their schedules, improve training and give employees more opportunities for advancement. The company hopes to improve its customer service with an eye toward encouraging shoppers to spend more.

The company has about 1.4 million workers in the U.S. as of Jan. 31.

A spate of companies have disclosed their holiday hiring plans this week, as Black Friday is about 10 weeks away and companies are getting ready for the increase in business that comes with the busy shopping period. Retailers Kohl's Corp. and Toys R Us and shipping companies FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. all announced their plans in the last few days.