PALM BAY, Florida – Walmart stores in Palm Bay, Melbourne, West Melbourne, and across the country will soon boost its starting hourly wage to $11 and deliver bonuses to employees, according to the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer.
Similar to other stores, including Target, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is capitalizing on the U.S. tax overhaul to stay competitive in a tightening labor market.
The wage increase will begin February 2018 and will cost $300 million on top of wage hikes that were already planned at the company.
The employee bonuses are one-time, up to $1,000 per worker, and are based on seniority. Walmart is also expanding its maternity and parental leave policy and adding an adoption benefit.
“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.,” Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in the statement.
In the past, Walmart raised starting wages to $9 in 2015 and then $10 for most workers the following year.
Brevard County’s unemployment rate has also plummeted from 6.9 percent in Jan. 2015 to 3.6 percent in Sept. 2017.
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