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"The fact that they are raising their hourly rates will catch the eye of competing retailers".

It was not immediately clear how many jobs would be affected. Walmart's jump to $11 an hour is set to begin in February for all Walmart U.S., Sam's Club, Supply Chain, eCommerce, and Home Office hourly associates.

Walmart has invested $2.7 billion in higher wages and training to mitigate turnover and improve the shopping experience.

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.

But the low unemployment has meant that retailers have had trouble attracting and keeping talented workers, experts said. Walmart last raised its minimum pay for employees to $10 an hour in 2015. "Companies were already raising wages even before the tax cut passed in response to a tight labor market, grassroots pressure from groups like the Fight for $15, and the rush of minimum wage hikes from California to NY".

"They raised the minimum wage because they have to", said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

However, considering the current labor market, companies might have made some of these changes even if corporate taxes were not reduced. Eighteen US states increased their minimum wage on Jan 1 but the federal minimum wage has been US$7.25 since 2009.

The retailer is boosting starting hourly wages to $11 an hour.

Around 50 of those stores will be shut permanently after a review of profitability and up to 12 more will be shut and reopened as e-commerce warehouses, the person said. Rose would like to pay more, but she'd have to raise her prices and fears that would turn away customers. The retail industry is seeking to fill 711,000 open jobs, the highest on records dating back to 2001, according to government data. The bonuses will cost it about $400 million in this fiscal year, which ends January 31.

One part of the reform was the reduction of the corporate tax rate, meaning big businesses like Walmart pay less in taxes and keep more for spending at their discretion. These bonuses will vary depending on the individuals length of employment with the company.

Walmart CEO and President Doug McMillon credited the Trump administration's major tax reform in December for the new employee benefits.

"Just ten days into 2018 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has changed the nation for the better", ATR President Grover Norquist said.

Many anti-poverty advocates say even that's too low. It has done well and strengthened its hand in online retail as many other retailers have struggled. "Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S".

"While pay raises are usually a good thing, 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", said activist Randy Parraz, director of Making Change at Walmart, a United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) affiliate. Those with 20 years of service will get the full $1,000.

Walmart will also expand its parental leave policies. The Arkansas-based company will enhance its benefits package, too, extending maternal and parental benefits, which had previously been available only to salaried employees, to full-time hourly workers. "This expanded parental leave also applies to salaried associates and to parents who adopt".

There are plenty of reasons for companies to reward workers right now.


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