Costco workers get a raise and the retailer gets more good press
Costco has long been held up as one of the best employers in the retailing industry. Last week’s announcement that Costco planned to raise its starting wage by $1 an hour while bumping up the hourly rate it pays other workers between 25 and 50 cents an hour, won’t hurt its reputation either.
Beginning on June 11, Costco will increase its starting pay, currently $13 and $13.50 an hour based on location, to $14 and $14.50. About 130,000 U.S. employees will get a bump in pay from Costco. Earlier this year, Indeed published research based on reviews on its site that ranked Costco as the top retail employer when it comes to a combination of pay and benefits.
Costco is not the only major retailer sweetening the deal for hourly workers. Earlier this year, Walmart announced it was raising its starting pay to $11 an hour. Last week, Walmart introduced a new educational benefit that will pick up most of the tab for employees to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business or supply chain management from select colleges.
Target recently went $1 better than Walmart with a starting wage of $12 and a promise to raise that to $15 an hour by 2020. The chain’s CEO, Brian Cornell, has said that Target saw a 30 percent increase in applicants when it raised its starting wage to $11 an hour before last year’s Christmas selling season.
According to the Labor Department, there were more job openings this spring than people to fill them. The number of job openings rose to 6.7 million across the country in April, while 6.3 million people are currently unemployed, according to the Labor Department. That’s the first time that job openings have exceeded the number of people available to work since the government began tracking the data in 2000.
- Costco Wholesale Corporation’s Q3 2018 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
- Top-Rated Workplaces: Compensation and Benefits – Indeed
- American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Jobless – The Wall Street Journal
- Walmart looks to win talent war with new education benefit – RetailWire
- Walmart CEO says ‘Happy New Year’ with pay raise for employees – RetailWire
- Target looks to out-people competition – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the retail industry, in general, needs to reevaluate its labor practices in light of the job market? What makes Costco a preferred retail employer in your view?