Walmart will hire people for as many as 85 people full- and part-time positions for the large expansion of its Mays Landing store that’s expected to be completed in October.

A hiring center with kiosks has been set up inside the store to take applications from 7 a.m. to midnight daily, said Bill Wirtz, eastern media director for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Job seekers can also apply online.

Wirtz said the share of full-time positions among the new hires might vary depending on store needs and the season.

Store manager Michael Carney, of Egg Harbor Township, said positions are open in all areas of the store expansion, including in supervision.

Wirtz said Wal-Mart doesn’t specify the hourly pay scale for individual stores, but in New Jersey the average full-time wage is $12.82 an hour. “We have almost 18,000 associates in New Jersey,” he said.

The new hires will bring the staffing level of the Mays Landing store to about 300, he said.

Full- and part-time employees can participate in the company’s health-insurance program, Wirtz said.

Full-time workers also are offered 401(k) retirement savings accounts (with a company match of employee contributions up to 6 percent of pay), discounts on general merchandise, an Associate Stock Purchase program and company-paid life insurance.

The job openings come as the region continues to struggle with the highest unemployment levels in the state.

In July, there were 18,400 people unemployed in Atlantic County, giving it a jobless rate of 12.6 percent, according to state labor department figures released Friday.

In Cape May County, 6,700 were unemployed for a 9.5 percent jobless rate. The unemployment rates in both counties are probably underestimates, since the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development figures are not adjusted for seasonal variations and temporary summer jobs are common in the region.

In Cumberland County, where 10,300 couldn’t find work, the jobless rate was 14.3 percent, while in Ocean County the 27,800 unemployed resulted in a rate of 10.3 percent.

The main part of the expansion will give the Walmart a full supermarket.

“We’ll bring in fresh produce, fresh meat and deli items, and a full range of grocery items,” Wirtz said. “The general merchandise of a Walmart includes some food items, but now as a Supercenter it will have a full range of groceries.”

The store will grow from 122,000 square feet to 181,000 square feet.

“We’re building, in addition to the grocery, a garden center, a pharmacy and what we call a tire and lube express,” he said.

Wirtz said the company is “fairly confident” the store expansion will be completed by the end of October. Most new hires will start soon to prepare the Supercenter for its opening, the date of which will be announced soon.

He said the company is glad to give people employment opportunities at a time of great need for work.

“Typically we see many more people apply than we’re able to hire, which is a shame, but we’re happy to be part of some economic growth,” Wirtz said.

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