In addition, employees pursuing adoption will receive assistance from Walmart. Officials said the $1,000 bonus would go to those with 20 or more years of Walmart employment. The company cited tax legislation that will help it save money, but the moves also reflect the tight labor market in which employers are competing for workers.
Walmart CEO and President Doug McMillon credited the Trump administration's major tax reform in December for the new employee benefits.
"It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the USA business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly", CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a press release.
"I think all of the recent bonus announcements are PR", said Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute. First, it has already been raising wages, and began doing so well before the corporate tax cut passed. "There was this advocacy group called the RATE Coalition that has for many years been lobbying and advocating for a significant reduction in the corporate tax rate".
Walmart will also add an adoption expense of five thousand dollars per child.
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.
These conditions - including the tax bill - likely pushed Walmart to bestow this benefits on workers. That's quite a while. The aerospace giant also said that it will increase its philanthropic giving. "[A bonus] is a one time payment that doesn't necessarily assess the underlying profitability of a business going forward". But experts are more doubtful that there's a connection.
Walmart's 2018 plans include bringing its Mobile Express Scan & Go service, which is now being tested in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando and northwest Arkansas markets, to 100 more stores across the nation.
Wage hikes across the industry appear likely as companies struggle to attract workers.
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.
A senior company official who declined to be named said about 62 stores would be affected, about one tenth of the chain overall.
Job creation is expected to slow in coming months, as it inevitably does late in a recovery, with unemployment now well below the 4.6-percent level central bankers estimate the economy can sustain over the long run. "As the availability of workers is more scarce, there's more pressure to bid up wages".
The release said the announcement was "based on the passage of tax reform". Target raised its minimum hourly wage to $11 in October, and will raise wages to $15 by the end of 2020.
"What would we have seen in the absence of a tax bill?" wondered Rosenberg. "They will be increasing their minimum wages, issuing bonuses, and expanding family benefits for over a million employees".
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