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.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.