Walmart's turbulent day includes increase in salary and shutting down the stores

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That trend is unlikely to slow now that the largest private sector employer in the world is upping employee pay.

Still, many small and independent retailers struggle to find workers even when they try to pay well and offer benefits. He said it was too early to say how many people would lose their jobs since some will be placed at other Walmart locations or be rehired to the e-commerce sites.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest private employer, is boosting its starting salary for US workers to $11 an hour, giving a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 to eligible employees and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said she would not comment on the Sam's Club closings but that the wage increases were a sign that the tax measures "are having the impact that we had hoped".

This is good news for local Walmart employees, whose minimum salary will soon exceed Meridian's 2016 estimated per capita income of $20,822, or about $10 per hour based on a 40-hour work week, according to City-Data.com. A one-time bonus will be given to those Walmart employees who won't receive a pay raise.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, announced Thursday it's raising starting minimum pay to $11 an hour, beginning in February.

Walmart employees are getting a pay bump, and the company says it's courtesy of the corporate tax cut Republicans rushed through Congress past year.

"Given how low unemployment is, they would have had to hike wages anyway, the tax bill just made that move easier", said Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough.

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Its rival Target had raised its minimum hourly wage to $11 in October and said it would raise wages to $15 by the end of 2020. Eighteen U.S. states increased their minimum wage on Jan.1 but the federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009.

The telecom giant said on December 20, 2017 - the day Congress passed the tax bill - that it would give 200,000 US employees a $1,000 holiday bonus. For all the press fanfare surrounding the wage announcement, the quiet layoffs are likely a more meaningful indicator of what awaits the American worker in the wake of the Trump tax cuts. President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans have argued that the corporate tax cut will benefit workers and lead to more investment by USA companies.

The company is also creating a new benefit to assist employees with adoption expenses.

All the new changes will take effect in February, and will affect more than one million Walmart employees across the United States, according to the company, Business Insider reports. Walmart also hit its strongest quarterly USA sales growth in almost a decade in its third quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. This suggests more good news to come. Before, full-time hourly workers received 50 percent of their pay for leave. The retailer has spent about $2.7 billion to increase wages over the past few years, which has helped in improving customer service and keeping its stores clean. Salaried employees, who already had 10 weeks paid maternity leave, will receive more paid parental leave. The payscale for hourly workers will be from $11 to $24.70 per hour.

Walmart is the latest in a long line of companies that have announced some kind of a raise, bonus or increase in benefits following the passage of the 2017 tax bill.

Shares of the company ended up 0.35 percent at $100.02 on Thursday.

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