Starbucks & Costco Announce Wage Raises Amid Continued Labor Market Crisis

Starbucks and Costco both announced this week that they would raise employees’ wages. The announcements follow similar recent ones from big companies, including Amazon, and come amid a tight labor market and an employee shortage in the country.

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Bars and restaurants have been struggling to find enough workers as the economy is re-opening. Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Popeyes’ owner Restaurant Brands International said they faced labor challenges during the third quarter, putting pressure on their U.S. sales, CNBC reported.

Starbucks said it will ensure all partners earn at least $15 per hour in the summer of 2022. In addition, effective in late January 2022, partners with two or more years of service could receive up to a 5% raise, and partners with five or more years could receive up to a 10% raise, according to a release. Additionally, in summer 2022, average pay for all U.S. hourly partners will be nearly $17 per hour, according to the release.

Barista hourly rates will range from $15 to $23 per hour, based on market and tenure, across the country, next summer.

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The company also said it added recruiting specialists across all U.S. markets and is extending its $200 referral bonuses to help attract new talent. 

As for Costco, it told employees last week that it would increase its minimum wage to $17 from $16 an hour starting this week, according to CNN. Costco has around 180,000 U.S. employees, and 90% of them work hourly.

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“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, according to CNN.

In September, Amazon announced that it would hire 125,000 employees throughout the U.S., with an average starting pay of more than $18 per hour and sign-on bonuses up to $3,000 in select locations.

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