They give a bonus this year in order to increase the salary for 2017. They will give raises next year. You think everything is a conspiracy, since you don't know how business works. The economy is growing, so there will be more demand for labor, so salaries will rise. Regardless of hiring, AT&T wants to retain it's workforce. When the economy grows, other companies will want to hire employees away from AT&T. AT&T is just raising salaries to retain their employees they need in a growing economy. You will see all companies increasing wages. It's not a conspiracy, or a plot, or a trick. It's just how business works, and AT&T is smart to get ahead of the curve and not wait until their workforce is being picked off by competitors. Companies will lay off people they don't need. The salary and bonuses of people they retain has nothing to do with people that are being laid off. Trying to connect bonuses with layoff is nonsense. You're trying to use some government mentality and apply it to business.