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Sarah Halzack

Walmart's Wage Hike Is Smart Even Without Tax Cuts

In a tight labor market, higher pay is necessary to keep sales growing.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is using the windfall the GOP just gave Corporate America to score a public-relations coup, with a strategic move that would have been smart even without a tax cut.

The big-box giant said Thursday it will raise its minimum wage in February to $11 per hour and pledged to give one-time bonuses to eligible employees of between $200 and $1,000. Walmart expects its largesse will cost $700 million, but framed it as a way for employees to "share in tax savings" from the tax overhaul that was signed into law in December.