Costco to boost hourly minimum wage to $16

Costco Wholesale Corp. will soon boast the highest minimum hourly wage among its competitors, the company’s CEO told the U.S. Senate Budget Committee on Thursday.

Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said during the committee’s hearing on worker pay at large companies that the wholesale club behemoth will boost its starting wage to $16 an hour beginning next week, CNN reported.

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“Two years ago we moved our starting hourly wage to $15 everywhere in the US, effective next week, the starting wage will go to $16,” Jelinek told the committee, MarketWatch reported.

The move will boost Costco’s minimum hourly pay above that of rivals Amazon, Target and Best Buy and comes amid a push by congressional Democrats to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15.

>> Related: Best Buy lays off 5,000 full-time employees, to replace them with 2,000 part-time workers

Roughly 90% of the Issaquah, Washington-based company’s 180,000 U.S. employees are hourly workers – who saw Costco’s minimum wage boosted to $14 in 2018 and $15 in 2019 – and roughly 20% of those workers currently earn minimum wage, CNN reported.

Amazon led the pack on minimum wage bumps, boosting its starting to wage to $15 in 2018, while Target and Best Buy followed suit in 2020. Meanwhile, Walmart’s minimum hourly wage has remained stagnant at $11, but the retail giant announced one week ago it plans to increase that figure to at least $13 for 425,000 employees, or roughly one-quarter of its total workforce.

The federal minimum wage has remained unchanged at $7.25 since 2009.

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