Costco is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour

Costco raised starting wages for workers in the U.S. and Canada from $14 to $15 an hour this week. It’s the company’s second wage increase in less than a year amid a hot labor market.

The wholesaler made the announcement during a quarterly earnings call on March 7, when Costco also announced it had a great quarter. Brick-and-mortar sales are up, but the company had a big boost from online sales, which were up more than 20 percent.

Costco announced that supervisors will get a wage increase as well and that it’ll now offer hourly workers paid paternity leave.

Getty Images | Joe Raedle

The company has around 245,000 workers, but it hasn’t revealed how many of them are getting a raise. But one thing’s clear: Folks who have been working at Costco for the past year or so know their employer is committed to paying a competitive wage. The company also raised the minimum wage from $13 to $14 an hour less than a year ago, in June 2018.

Costco isn’t the only company that has raised its minimum wage for workers in recent months.

In November, Amazon increased its minimum wage for all employees, including those who work at Whole Foods, to $15 an hour. Target gave employees a boost last year by increasing their hourly minimum to $12 and pledging to raise the minimum wage for its employees to $15 by 2020. Walmart still lags behind others in the mega-retailer pack; it bumped minimum hourly wages to $11 last year.

Costco has also been offering a lot of membership deals over the past year to bring more customers to its stores and e-commerce site.

Costco’s announcement came the day before the release of a lackluster jobs report on March 8 that left the stock market tepid. But investors seem to like what they’re seeing from Costco — the company’s stock recently went up.

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Jenn Fields


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