The new tax bill could mean even lower prices at Walmart

Walmart's wage hike would be smart even without tax cuts

- Wal-Mart Stores announced two business changes, one to benefit entry-level employees and one that will cut jobs, on Thursday.

Walmart raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour in 2015.

Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, has fought in recent years to improve its image in the US, as it weathered criticism over its treatment of employees. According to The Robesonian, the Sam's Club in Lumberton, which has 150 employees, would be among the cuts.

Walmart said on Thursday it would raise entry-level wages for hourly employees to $11 an hour as it benefits from the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years.

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the United States".

President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans have argued that the corporate tax cut will benefit workers and lead to more investment by U.S. companies.

The news comes after other companies such as Waste Management, Bank of America and JetBlue have made similar announcements, handing out bonuses to employees and citing the passage of tax legislation.

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Large employers have been under pressure to boost benefits for workers because unemployment rates are at historic lows, allowing job seekers to be pickier.

It will also help the retailer attract workers at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate is low - now 4.1 percent - and so competition for low wage workers is rising. As of December, the average pay for full-time workers was $13 an hour. Still, that's about a full percentage point lower than is typical in a healthy economy. The payscale for hourly workers will be from $11 to $24.70 per hour, the company said.

Walmart announced on Thursday it will soon be raising its workers' starting wage rate for hourly employees to $11 in the wake of the Republican-backed tax plan.

The retailer's hourly workers now make a starting wage of $9, which is increased to $10 after they complete a training program. The retailer says it has spent about $2.7bn to increase wages over the past few years.

The one-time bonus between $200 and $1,000 based will be given to Walmart employees that won't receive a pay raise. The amount of the bonus will vary based on length of service, reaching up to $1,000 for an individual with 20 years of service.

Walmart employs about 2.2m people globally, with more than 1.5m in the United States, and had total global revenue of almost $500 billion past year. That helped spur the long stretch of steady comparable sales growth it has enjoyed recently: When it invested in better pay and more training for workers, that translated into better-stocked shelves and friendlier customer service.

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