Walmart Lifts Minimum Wage, But Target Surges to New Highs

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The Associated Press reported on Thursday that an anonymous company official said about 10 Sam's Club locations are being "repurposed into e-commerce distribution centers".

Also on Thursday, Wal-Mart announced that it was closing 63 Sam's Club stores and laying off thousands of workers around the country. Walmart is also issuing a one-time cash bonus up to $1,000 to eligible employees.

The layoffs went unaddressed but the wage increase attracted praise from the White House.

Kolko noted that while overall wage increases were modest previous year 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.

News of the store closures, hours after the wage hike announcement, drew some criticism.

Full and part-time workers at Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, will receive a bonus of up to $1,000 based on their length of service. Walmart on Thursday promised full-time hourly USA employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

Walmart's (WMT) tit-for-tat minimum wage battle with Target (TGT), ratcheting to $11 an hour for the least experienced workers with likely pressure to move higher, may signal broader gains to come for workers in a tightening US labor market - a moment politicians and policymakers have been hoping for.

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Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the changes were a direct result of the new tax law. "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". Target, like Walmart, boosted wages late a year ago to retain cashiers and stockers. The store pays $12 an hour and offers a 401 (k) account after a staffer has worked for a year, but Rose realizes that may not be enough for many potential workers.

Pennsylvania's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, the same as the current federal minimum wage. In all, Walmart employs 2.3 million people around the world, 1.5 million of whom are in the U.S.

When the Trump administration was trying to sell the public on the tax proposal, they promised that workers would see gains of about $4,000 over eight years. It is also possible that not many companies will invest the money saved through tax cuts and instead will pass it on to their shareholders. Around three-quarters of that comes from the United States, which suggests a tax savings of $2.1 billion.

The company said the wage increase benefits all hourly USA workers at its stores, including Sam's Club, as well as hourly employees at its websites, distribution centers and its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters.

Walmart employs about 2.2 million people globally, with more than 1.5 million in the United States, and had total global revenue of almost $500 billion previous year.

Shares of Walmart closed up 0.3 per cent at US$100.02.

And it is very good news. The adoption benefit, available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, will total $5,000 per child and may be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal or court costs. Walmart employees previously started at $9 an hour, with a bump up to $10 after completing a training program.

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