Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs this year

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. this year as it opens new stores and expands existing locations, including in California. The world's biggest retailer said Tuesday that its plans will also generate about 24,000 construction jobs.

The jobs will come from the opening of 59 new, expanded or relocated Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club outlets as well as from e-commerce services that were previously announced, the company said.

Wal-Mart will open several new stores in California this year, including one in Compton this month, spokesman Scott Markley said. He said the company also is planning to remodel more than 30 of its 300 stores in the state, although the schedule has not been finalized.

Nationally, Wal-Mart is opening fewer new stores this year than last, but it is still adding jobs as it offers more positions in online grocery pickup, trainers for its new academies for hourly workers and construction jobs for remodels.

The rate is consistent with previous hiring in recent years, company spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said. Media reports have also said, however, that Wal-Mart plans to cut hundreds or even about 1,000 jobs at its corporate headquarters by the end of the month.

Wal-Mart typically announces job plans early in the year, analysts say. Tuesday's announcement marks the latest in a series of announcements from companies that may want to get into the good graces of President-elect Donald Trump, who will take office Friday and has called out companies for not keeping jobs in the U.S., analysts say.

“Everyone is trying to curry favor with the new administration,” in part wanting a better corporate tax landscape, said Ken Perkins, president of the research firm Retail Metrics.

General Motors Co. announced plans Tuesday to invest $1 billion in U.S. factories and add white-collar jobs, moves that have been in the works for years but were made public after attacks from Trump.

Read more: GM announces $1-billion investment in its U.S. factories and thousands of new jobs »

And Amazon.com Inc. announced last week that it would add 100,000 full-time jobs over the next 18 months. The increased hiring was tied to previously announced plans to build more warehouses and other facilities. Amazon said its U.S. workforce has grown to more than 180,000 by the end of last year from 30,000 in 2011. By comparison, Wal-Mart employs about 2.4 million people worldwide, including 1.5 million in the United States.

Trump thanked Wal-Mart and General Motors on Twitter for “starting the big push back in the U.S.” and took credit for bringing jobs “back into the U.S.” However, Wal-Mart store jobs and construction jobs would not have moved elsewhere anyway.

Wal-Mart has been looking to trim costs and expenses as it tries to be more nimble and compete more effectively with Amazon. It announced early last year that it would close 154 U.S. stores, and last summer it eliminated 7,000 back-office positions.

Other retailers have recently announced store closings and layoffs. Macy's, for example, is closing nearly 70 stores, cutting 10,000 jobs.

Wal-Mart reiterated that it plans $6.8 billion in capital investments in the U.S. in the fiscal year that begins Feb. 1. Wal-Mart, which imports a majority of its goods from China and other countries, has been publicizing efforts to bring some of the manufacturing back in the U.S. over the past few years. In 2013, it committed to an additional $250 billion in American sourced and assembled goods through 2023.

It announced Tuesday that the Walmart Foundation, its nonprofit arm, would provide grants to six universities toward innovations in the textile industry.

Wal-Mart has 11,593 stores in 28 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based chain saw its online sales improve in the third quarter and its profit beat Wall Street's expectations. It also raised the low end of its full-year profit outlook.

Times staff writer Jim Puzzanghera contributed to this report. 

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UPDATES:

1:25 p.m.: This article was updated with information about General Motors’ announcement and President-elect Donald Trump’s reaction.

This article was originally published at 9:20 a.m.

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