Costco is one of the go-to places to buy just about anything in bulk. Now, the company is bulking up its employees’ pay, as well. Costco announced today that it would be raising the starting minimum wage for its employees to $16 an hour.
Costco’s Decision to Raise Minimum Wage
According to CNN, Costco currently has around 180,000 employees in the U.S. and 90% of them are working at an hourly rate.
As of next week, these employees will see a substantial rise to their hourly pay.
In the past, Costco has always been one of the leading companies in increasing its minimum wage. For example, in 2018 the company increased it to $14 an hour. Then in 2019, there was a dollar increase.
Costco is not alone in wanting to provide its employees with higher wages. Retailers like Amazon, Target, and Best Buy all have a $15 minimum wage. Now Costco is again raising that bar.
“I want to note this isn’t altruism. At Costco we know that paying employees good wages … makes sense for our business and constitutes a significant competitive advantage for us. It helps us in the long run by minimizing turnover and maximizing employee productivity,” CEO W. Craig Jelinek said, according to NPR.
Many companies are making this change of their own free will. However, companies may soon be required to change the pay for their employees. Democrats in Congress are currently supporting a $15 federal minimum wage. Senator Bernie Sanders has been pushing the concept and introduced a bill that would make $15 the standard by 2025. It’s known as the Raise the Wage Act.
President Joe Biden has also said he is behind the move to make a federal minimum wage. Individual states have begun to raise the minimum wage on their own. Some states have an incredibly low minimum wage currently. For example, states like Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, and Texas all have a $7.25 minimum wage at the moment.