"We are building on investments we've been making in associates, in their wages and skills development", said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. Walmart has about 2.1 million employees, which works out to be an average bonus of about $190.
Additionally, the company announced it will grant 10 weeks maternity leave and six weeks paid parental leave to full-time hourly associates, including leave for parents who adopt.
As the nation's largest private employer, Wal-Mart has a big influence on working-class wages, so its pay hike could result in increases for many other workers in modest-pay industries. "So, we're pleased to tell you that we're raising our starting wage to $11 an hour for Walmart U.S., Sam's Club, Supply Chain, eCommerce and Home Office hourly associates effective in February". "This is nothing but another public relations stunt from Walmart to distract from the reality that they are laying off thousands of workers and the ones who remain will continue to receive low wages". At the same time, Target made a commitment to raise its base wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.
Walmart is capitalizing on its newfound savings under the recently signed tax reform bill by increasing workers' starting hourly wage to $11 and providing substantial bonuses to employees, in an effort to remain competitive in an increasingly tight labor market.
Walmart on Thursday said it will raise entry-level wages for USA hourly employees to $11 an hour in February as it benefits from last month's major corporate tax cut and on the same day said it will shut stores and lay off thousands of workers. A total of 18 states have increased minimum pay this year.
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That's when Walmart said it would begin paying entry-level workers $10 an hour, after a training period.
Walmart, which reported annual revenue of almost $486 billion in the previous fiscal year, said the wage increases will cost it an additional $300 million in the next fiscal year.
Walmart's efforts in recent years to invest more in stores and its hourly employees is getting high marks from investors as the retailer's financial performance has improved.
The company is offering a one-time bonus to all full and part-time employees based on their length of service, rising to $1000 for employees with 20 years of service. Pretax income for the company's 2017 fiscal year ended last January was $22.76 billion. The average wage was $13.56 for regular, full-time hourly associates in Walmart's discount stores, supercenters and neighborhood markets.
The company also plans to create a new benefit to help associates with adoption expenses. The parental leave will cover both hourly and salaried employees. The company's quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will post 4.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.