Walmart to raise starting wages, hand out bonuses

Walmart employee

Walmart to raise starting wages, hand out bonuses

My impression is that Walmart executives believe this strategy is working, and will continue to implement it while encouraging other retail employers to do the same.

Walmart is raising starting wages for hourly employees to $11 and offering a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000, the company said Thursday.

The Walmart wage hike, taking minimum pay up from the current $10 an hour after in-house training, is aimed at helping the company attract workers at a time when the US unemployment rate is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, making it harder to attract and retain minimum wage employees. The company is also creating a new benefit to assist associates with adoption expenses. Bonuses will be determined by an employee's length of service; workers with more than 20 years of experience will qualify to receive the full $1,000.

Employees will also get bonuses up to $1000 - but only for the longest-serving employees.

The move follows last month's United States tax code overhaul that cut the corporate rate from 35% to a flat 21%. "Walmart is the latest company to make such an announcement as a direct result of the Tax Cuts act".

"This may be evidence that we are starting to see the wage acceleration", that officials at organizations like the Federal Reserve have been anticipating as unemployment dropped to a 17 year low, said Jed Kolko, chief economist at the jobs website Indeed. "Most of them would have happened without tax reform".

"Certainly some of that is probably PR", agreed Joe Rosenberg, senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. It marks the third such increase by the company since 2015.

Several companies are praising the tax reform plan and touting their moves to reinvest money that they expect to save from a lower corporate tax rate of 21 percent, Yahoo News reported Thursday. (How much workers will benefit overall is another issue.) But the tax overhaul can't hog all the credit.

Even with the wage bump, many workers will struggle if they're the sole breadwinner.

Online retailers typically pay warehouse employees who pack and ship orders more than store jobs pay.

"The tax law is already having an incredible impact on workers and families", Sanders said, unprompted, referencing the GOP tax bill, which Trump signed in December.

"The standard theory would suggest that in the early years of a corporate tax cut the majority of the benefits accrue as a windfall to the owners of the business and only over time do those benefits translate into gains for workers as well", Greenberg explained. That's quite a while.

Wells Fargo also said it would increase its charitable giving in 2018 by about 40% to $400 million.

At least 63 stores are closing, some as early as Thursday, though up to 12 of those stores will be converted to e-commerce facilities.

According to him, bonuses are more likely to be a gesture of public goodwill whereas raising wages or increasing a 401 (k) match or extending parental leave policy could be connected to real economic incentives and have long-term effect on workers. "The labor market is tight and getting tighter".

Along with the headline unemployment rate, a broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers who have largely stopped job-hunting, as well as those only able to find part-time jobs, stood at 8.1 percent at the end of 2017.

In response to the reports, officials stated that they had come to the decision "after a thorough review of our existing portfolio".

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