Costco raises employees’ minimum hourly wage to $17

Costco has raised the minimum wage for hourly store workers in the U.S. for the second time in eight months, bumping starting pay up a dollar to $17 an hour.

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The wholesale club giant told employees that the new wages went into effect on Monday, CNN reported.

Costco has approximately 180,000 employees and 90% of them are paid by the hour. Employees for the Issaquah, Washington-based company saw Costco’s minimum wage boosted to $16 in February. Employee wages increased from $14 in 2018 and $15 in 2019, according to CNN.

The wage increase was first reported by Business Insider.

>> Costco to boost hourly minimum wage to $16

Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek called the February raise “good business,” adding that higher wages reduce turnover.

In a memo to employees, Jelinek said the latest increases “are part of Costco’s continuing efforts to ensure our hourly wages remain extremely competitive in the retail industry.”

The wage increases were made to help Costco compete with other large companies. Amazon raised its starting wage to $15 in 2020, while Target and Best Buy followed suit in 2020.

Walmart raised its minimum wage from $11 to $12 last month, according to CNN. CVS and Walgreens said in August they would increase starting pay to $15 an hour, the news network reported.