Costco is Raising Starting Wages to $17 an Hour
Costco has raised starting wages for hourly workers again, this time to $17, the retailer confirmed to Insider in an email. The raise went into effect on Oct. 25. The big-box store last raised its minimum wage to $16 in February 2021, from $15 that it had been since 2019. Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek called the last raise "good business," saying higher wages reduce employee turnover. Costco has a reputation for being one of the best retail businesses to work for, ranking among companies with the happiest employees. The average tenure of a Costco employee was nine years as of February, and more than half of employees make over $25 an hour.
Total Retail's Take: Finding ways to combat a historically tight labor market is a challenge for many retailers today. Costco is doubling-down on its efforts to both attract and retain a talented workforce, using a combination of financial and nonfinancial perks (e.g., paid vacation, healthcare) to help it accomplish that goal. Employee turnover has long been a problem that has plagued the retail industry, but not at Costco. The big-box chain has been a leader in this area, creating loyal employees by making a commitment to take care of its workers and then following through on that promise. It then shouldn't come as a surprise that that engaged workforce, which is invested in Costco's success, has been instrumental in leading the company to strong financial performance.