Walmart announces wage increases and bonuses — and then closes 63 Sam's Clubs
- Walmart joins the list of companies that plan to use some of their corporate tax savings on employees, Axios reports. The world's largest employer says it's raising its minimum wage from $9 to $11 per hour and giving long-term employees $1,000 one-time bonuses.
- But as Walmart announced its wage increase and bonus plans, it also made public the closing of 63 Sam's stores — with no notice, NBC reports.
- Walmart also plans to expand maternity and paternity benefits, says Axios, joining a slew of other companies announcing bonuses or other benefits after the passing of the tax bill.
Aflac, Suntrust Banks, Inc. and Comerica announced last week that they plan to use the savings from the Republican tax law to raise wages and give employees bonuses. They also plan to increase their 401k plan contributions.
While debates over the law's long-term effects on workers and the economy continue, it looks as though for now that companies are attempting to invest savings back into the workforce. But, thanks to the timing of the Sam's Club closings, this move seems likely to be a strategic one made partly outside of the influence of the tax bill, one economist told NBC.
Walmart, being one of the largest employers in the U.S., sets the pace for much of the big box retail world. Wages in retail have recently seen growth after stagnating for some time, according to a Glassdoor report, though automation still looms in the sector. Part of that growth could be attributed to the job seeker's market, which caused a few retailers to increase their wages at the end of last year. But it may also be driven by state and local minimum-wage laws; 37 new minimum-wage ordinances went into effect on Jan. 1.