Walmart boosts starting pay to $11 an hour, offers bonuses

Walmart boosts starting pay to $11 an hour, offers bonuses

McMillon also said Walmart will implement additional new benefits for employees by expanding parental leave and helping would-be adoptive parents pay for adoptions.

AT&T similarly disclosed intentions to invest an additional $1 billion into the 2018 and pay a $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 AT&T USA employees.

Retail giant Walmart announced Thursday that it plans to raise the starting hourly wage to $11 for its employees in a nationwide measure that will also give employees one-time cash bonuses and boost parental leave benefits. Additionally, the Bentonville, Ark. -based mega-retailer is creating a new benefit to help associates with adoption expenses.

Kolko noted that while overall wage increases were modest a year ago 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 wage increase will begin February 2018 and will cost $300 million on top of wage hikes that were already planned at the company.

"We are in the early stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders".

"We think this is a prudent use of tax reform proceeds, as it reinforces the company's commitment to improving in-store service levels and will pressure other retailers to invest more heavily into wages and prices", Ben Bienvenu, an analyst at Stephens, said in a note. So competitive is the market that Morgan Stanley reckons in most cases only 50 percent of what retailers save in tax will make it back to investors.

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Walmart has announced an increase to its minimum wage and a series of bonuses in light of the Republican tax bill, but the bulk of its corporate tax cut still won't be trickling down to its workers. It will range from $200 to $1,000 depending on workers' length of employment with Walmart.

Its proponents argue that it will also benefit workers over time by raising corporate investment and productivity, which affects worker earnings.

Walmart also credited the Republican tax reform for its latest wage hike, though the company announced its intention to raise pay almost three years ago, according to Bloomberg. 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.

Despite the gains, some workers may still struggle with an $11 hourly wage, which translates to $22,000 per year for a typical 40-hour work week. About a dozen banks have said they will raise their minimum wages.

While companies and states have increased salaries in recent years, the $7.25 federal minimum wage has not budged since 2009.

The bonus payments will cost the company, which is worth $295bn, a total of $400m.

Full and part-time hourly associates who have been at the company for 20 years or more will be eligible for the $1,000 bonus.

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