Supermarket chain Kroger to fill 10,000 permanent positions

A selection of Kroger brand products is displayed in Golden, Colorado September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

(Reuters) - Supermarket operator Kroger Co said on Monday it would fill 10,000 positions this year, joining a list of companies that have publicized routine hiring plans as President Donald Trump puts pressure on companies to employ more U.S. workers.

The number of permanent jobs being filled this year, however, is lower than last year’s hiring and represents about 2 percent of Kroger’s total workforce.

Kroger had about 431,000 full- and part-time employees as of Jan. 30, 2016. The company hired more than 12,000 workers in 2016.

The company’s shares were down 1.1 percent in afternoon trading.

Kroger’s announcement comes on the same day Inc said it would create more than 1,000 permanent jobs in its new distribution center in Colorado.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said earlier this month it would create 10,000 jobs in the United States as part of a previously announced plan.

Auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc announced plans to hire more than 12,000 new full- and part-time employees through April last week - part of its normal hiring plans.

Trump, who took on office on Friday, has criticized U.S. companies across industries for not doing more to keep jobs in the United States.

He met with a dozen American manufacturers at the White House on Monday, pledging to slash regulations and cut corporate taxes to stimulate growth and jobs in the United States.

Reporting by Aravind K and Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty