Costco Hikes its Minimum Wage to $17

Amid a labor crunch, Costco is hiking its minimum wage to $17 per hour.

The warehouse retailer is among several major retailers to increase wages — although its $17 hourly rate is higher than several of its competitors, including Amazon ($15), Target ($15) and Walmart ($12). The pay increase is the second this year for Costco, which announced a wage hike to $16 per hour in February. 

Retailers are eager to fill thousands of open roles ahead of the holiday season, and many are expanding benefits and increasing wages to recruit and retain staff. The labor shortage is affecting many industries across the economy, not just retail. During the pandemic, many workers found new roles or opportunities and may never return to retail. Others are making lateral moves for higher wages and benefits. In August, a record 4.3 million Americans turned in their resignations, with most moving into new roles. 

Costco’s move may help it rise among its competitors when it comes to recruiting. The company already has a lower turnover rate compared to many other retailers, CNN 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 reported across news outlets.