Costco Once Again Just Showed Us How to Treat Your Workers

March 8th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

In a bid to attract new employees, the retail giant Costco announced on Thursday, March 3 that it would raise the hourly wage for its entry-level workers in the U.S. and Canada for the first time since 2007.


While the company already offers a competitive wage of $11.50 to $12 per hour — more than $4 above than the federal minimum wage — it plans to increase that hourly pay by $1.50, effective this month. Even workers at the top, who earn up to $22.50 per hour, can expect to see a 2.5 percent raise this year, Bloomberg reports.

"You're on your feet, you're lifting cases, you're pushing carts at these entry-level jobs," Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said in a conference call with investors. "And so we thought it was time to do it."

The minimum wage has become a central issue in the 2016 election, and several cities and corporations have taken steps to increase their hourly pay in advance of potential federal reform measures. Walmart answered repeated calls from employees and advocates to increase its minimum wage last year; and just last month, it announced that its 1.2 million workers would earn $10 per hour, up from $9 per hour.

While raising the minimum wage puts pressure on profits, companies say that improving employee relations and employee retention, along with attracting new talent are also important objectives.

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