ALL NEWS

Costco raises its minimum wage to $16, outpacing its competitors

Feb 25, 2021, 9:04 AM

costco...

FILE -- Jared Camberos and Jordi Camberos take water, toilet tissue and other items to their car as they and other shoppers at the Lehi Costco prepare themselves over coronavirus concerns on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

    (CNN) — Costco will raise its starting rate for hourly store workers in the United States to $16 an hour, putting its starting wage above rivals such as Amazon, Target and Best Buy.

Costco has around 180,000 US employees, and 90% of them work hourly. It will hike its minimum wage to $16 beginning next week, chief executive Craig Jelinek said Thursday at a US Senate Budget Committee hearing on worker pay at large companies.

The move comes as Democrats in Congress seek to rally support for a $15 federal minimum wage. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the driving force behind Congress’ current push to raise the federal minimum wage, introducing a bill last month to increase it to $15 by 2025. President Joe Biden has also backed a $15 minimum wage. The federal minimum wage has stood at $7.25 an hour since 2009, but a growing number of cities and states are raising their minimum wage.

Costco, based in Issaquah, Washington, raised its minimum wage to $14 in 2018 and $15 in 2019. The company says 20% of its hourly employees make the minimum wage.

More retailers and restaurant chains have also moved to a $15 an hour minimum rate. Amazon raised its starting wage to $15 in 2018, while Target and Best Buy bumped up their minimums to $15 last year. Walmart, the largest US retailer, has an $11 minimum wage, and it said last week that it planned to raise pay for around 425,000 employees, a quarter of its workforce, to at least $13 an hour.

Arindrajit Dube, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who studies the minimum wage, said Costco’s move would put pressure on rival employers such as Amazon to match its $16 minimum.

Although some companies have moved to $15 an hour or above, many business leaders oppose a $15 federal minimum wage. Some employers, particularly small businesses, have fought against raising the minimum wage to $15, saying it could prompt layoffs and even closures.

In a letter to Congressional leaders Wednesday, the Business Roundtable suggested for the first time that the minimum wage hike should be linked to progress in defeating the coronavirus pandemic.

Also on Wednesday, Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, a lobbying group for retailers, said on a call with reporters that “it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to be in the business of dictating wages in an economy as broad and diverse in scope as this one is…It’s best to let market conditions dictate” wages.

—CNN’s Tami Luhby and Matt Egan contributed to this article.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

A woman charged last month with sexual battery after she allegedly tugged on another woman's skirt ...

Ashley Imlay, KSL.com

Woman in St. George skirt-pulling incident fired from Utah AG’s office, records show

A woman who was filmed and went viral in St. George skirt-pulling incident has been fired from her government job.

2 hours ago

File: Day Two of the Girl Gamer Esports Festival in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Cyber security exp...

Aimee Cobabe

Parents, do you know who’s chatting with the kids on Roblox?

Roblox is an online gaming platform used by 71.5 million people every day. About half of those users are under age 13.

2 hours ago

housing unit growth in Utah...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah leads nation in housing unit growth, so why did privately owned units drop?

Housing unit growth is Utah is the highest in the United States, however private home ownership has plummeted.

3 hours ago

Graduation rate...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Graduation Speech of the year

A high school valedictorian put it all in perspective at his graduation.

3 hours ago

High amounts of spring runoff cause swelling of rivers across the state....

Curt Gresseth

What to do if someone — even you — falls into a river

An expert on water safety and rescue shares advice on what to do if someone -- or even you -- falls into a river, now being driven by ice-cold spring runoff.

4 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at the City-County Building in Salt Lake City, May 5, 2...

Aimee Cobabe

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is asking for a pay raise

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is looking to increase her pay for up to 26% which will make an additional $44,000 a year. She is also proposing a 5% pay increase for all city employees for this year.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Costco raises its minimum wage to $16, outpacing its competitors