Costco will raise its hourly minimum wage to $16 at the beginning of March 2021, according to CNBC. CEO Craig Jelinek revealed the plans during a Senate budget committee meeting amidst a Congressional debate over a $15 per hour federal minimum wage increase.
Costco set its minimum wage at $15 in 2019 and has been paying an extra $2 an hour premium to its workers since March 2020 as part of its effort to help them through the financial strain caused by the pandemic. The retailer has more than 180,000 employees in the U.S.
“As we approach the one-year mark of this extra pay, we will limit the temporary premium, but convert some of the premium to a permanent increase by raising each step on hourly wage scales,” said Jelinek during the hearing.
Both Target and Amazon have hourly minimum wages of $15 an hour, putting Costco ahead of the pack once its change goes through. Walmart starts workers at $11 per hour, but the company recently announced raises for 425,000 associates that will boost its average hourly pay to $15.