Walmart Joins Bonus Bandwagon with $1,000 Checks

'Trump Bump' continues as nation's biggest employer goes down the path of other companies, hikes minimum wage to $11 per hour

by Jim Stinson | Updated 11 Jan 2018 at 1:35 PM

Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, said Thursday it will raise its minimum wage to $11 per hour, expand maternity leave options for workers, and give $1,000 bonuses to hourly employees, based on their years of service.

The bonus announcement comes as corporations and small businesses prepare for a corporate tax cut and a reduction in taxes for unincorporated businesses that President Donald Trump recently signed into law. Walmart officials cited the tax cut as a reason for measures to improve employee compensation and working conditions.

"Today, we are building on investments we've been making in associates, in their wages and skills development," said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon in a statement. "It's our people who make the difference, and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families."

Trump celebrated the news by tweeting a Fox Business clip about the Walmart decision.

Walmart is the latest of a growing list of firms giving bonuses or other benefit improvements, thanks to strong profits and the new tax law's reduction in the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Unemployment has also remained low, at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. Moreover, African-American unemployment is at the lowest on record since the federal government began tracking such statistics in 1973.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the American people are beginning to understand the economy is finally roaring ahead.

"Sixty-six percent of voters say the economy is 'good' or 'excellent' — the highest since 2001 — according to new Quinnipiac poll," Sanders tweeted Thursday. "America has turned a corner under the president's strong leadership."

Since Trump and the Republican-led Congress cut taxes in December in the largest tax reform since 1986, multiple companies have announced bonuses of as much as $2,000, including AT&T, Bank of America, and NBCUniversal.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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