Costco raises its minimum wage to $17 an hour

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A worker pushes carts outside a Costco Wholesale store May 31, 2006, in Mount Prospect, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — Costco raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour this week.

Monday’s pay hike comes less than a year after the big-box retailer increased starting hourly wages to $16, Business Insider reported.

“These increases are part of Costco’s continuing efforts to ensure our hourly wages remain extremely competitive in the retail industry,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said in a memo to employees. “We remain proud to be able to pay employees well and provide excellent benefits.”

Costco employs about 180,000 people in the U.S., and 90% of them work hourly. The new pay rate is $2 per hour above Amazon and Target’s minimum wage and $5 an hour above Walmart’s.

Many retailers and restaurants are raising wages, offering signing bonuses, and sweetening their benefits packages to attract workers amid a nationwide labor crunch.

According to Bloomberg, Starbucks also plans to bump its average wage to $17 an hour next summer.

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