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(Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Walmart is raising the minimum wage to $11 for more than one million of its U.S. hourly workers as a result of sweeping new tax legislation, it said on Thursday.

The big box retailer will also expand its maternity and parental leave benefits, begin helping its workers cover adoption expenses and hand out one-time bonuses of up to $1,000.

The wage increase will be effective in February. Entry-level workers currently earn a minimum of $10 an hour if they complete a training program.

“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon in a statement.

Walmart said that a lower tax rate will allow it to become more competitive on the global stage and it will continue to seek ways in which it can pass along those savings to workers, customers and investors.

In December, a Republican-controlled Congress passed tax reform in which the corporate tax rate was lowered from 35% to 21%.

Walmart follows companies like AT&T, Boeing and Wells Fargo in announcing bonuses or other benefits for workers as a result of the lower tax rate. Other companies, like Comcast, have pledged to increase their investments in the U.S.

Walmart expects the wage increase to add $300 million to its expenses in the next fiscal year and the one-time bonus to add another $400 million. 

The amount of the bonus will be based on the length of time a worker has been with the company, with $1,000 bonuses going to those with at least 20 years of service at Walmart.

Shares of Walmart, which are up 46% in the last twelve months, were flat in morning trading.



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