Walmart raises starting wages, handing out $1000 bonuses

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American corporations are chipper about tax reform.

It is unclear if Walmart's new offerings are entirely linked to the tax cut, as the company has a history of low wages and benefits, along with a past wage increase that sparked layoffs and employee restrictions.

Wal-Mart's hike follows Target's October decision to increase its minimum hourly wage to $11, which it will further boost to $15 by the end of 2020.

There are plenty of reasons for companies to reward workers right now. In the last three months, insiders sold 12,419,588 shares of company stock worth $1,207,333,538.

Here's who is passing some of those savings along to employees.

The announcement comes after a number of other massive US firms such as Waste Management, Jet Blue and Bank of America made similar promises to increase employee wages and bonuses.

"We still have many months, if not a year or two, to get as tight we like", said Gould.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that it will increase the starting wage for hourly associates to $11, effective during the February 17, 2018 pay cycle. At the new 21% corporate rate, Walmart's tax bill could shrink by at least $2 billion.

Back in October, David French, NRF senior vice president for government relations, pointed to an analysis by the association that found the average "C" corporation, many of which are retailers, paid the average worker almost $4,700 less per year because of the previous 35 percent corporate tax rate.

Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, has fought in recent years to improve its image in the USA, as it weathered criticism over its treatment of employees.

The release said the announcement was "based on the passage of tax reform". With the nation's unemployment rate now at almost 4%, labor markets around the country have grown tight, and at least some employers feel wage increases are necessary to attract and retain their best workers.

Walmart said that the one-time bonus will be given to all eligible full and part-time hourly US employees. Retail was among the industries that proponents of the tax overhaul said were likely to benefit. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service.

McMillon also announced a new policy aimed at helping salaried and full-time associates with the financial costs of adopting a child.

Walmart announced Thursday that it will give employees a one-time bonus of up to $1,000. The national unemployment rate at a 17-year low, making it increasingly hard to for companies to attract - and keep - workers.

Kolko noted that while overall wage increases were modest past year at around 2.5 percent, data through November showed that workers with only a high school degree got average raises of 3.6 percent, while hourly rates for less well-paid positions rose 3.1 percent.

The raise will increase the average hourly pay at Walmart for full-time employees from $13.85 to $14.50.

Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon described the chain as "building on investments we've been making in associates, in their wages and skills development".

On the heels of the USA tax overhaul, the world's largest retail Walmart (WMT) announced Thursday it plans on sharing the new wealth to its employees. On the same day the company trumpeted its pay rise, it revealed the closure of some members-only Sam's Club stores.

The company, which has 1.5 million employees in the US, also said it would expand maternity and paternity leave benefits, as well as give up to $5,000 to employees who are adopting a child. About a dozen banks have said they will raise their minimum wages.