Wal-Mart Announces Hourly Wage Increase

New $11 an hour wage to help Wal-Mart better compete in a tightening labor market.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is increasing its starting hourly wage to $11 and giving one-time bonuses to employees.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the increase goes into effect in February and will cost $300 million on top of annual wage hikes that were already planned. The one-time bonus of up to $1,000 is based on seniority and will amount to an additional $400 million. In addition, Wal-Mart plans to expand it maternity and parental leave policy and adding an adoption benefit.

The wage increase and bonus payment will help the company to even its pay gap with rival Target Corp., which raised its minimum hourly wage for all team members to $11 in October, and has plans to increase its minimum hourly wage to $15 by the end of 2020. Bloomberg also called the move a nod to the U.S. government for cutting the corporate tax rate.

Wal-Mart has also announced plans to close a number of Sam’s Club warehouse locations following a portfolio review. Business Insider reported 63 units were set to close.

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