The movement toward a higher minimum wage is on the rise — and some of the country’s biggest retailers are coming out on top.
At the start of the year, annual cost-of-living adjustments and other scheduled gains led wages to jump by pennies to a dollar for workers across 20 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington.
Later in the year, another four states — Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia — plus Washington, D.C., will see an increase in their baseline pay.
Some retailers have hiked pay and benefits in an attempt to attract and retain workers — perhaps as well as incentivize them to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Others, however, raised wages as part of previously announced plans.
The online giant’s minimum wage for all U.S.-based employees currently stands at $15 per hour — more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
The membership-only warehouse chain’s minimum wage is expected to increase to $16 starting next week. During a Senate panel hearing, CEO Craig Jelinek shared that more than half of U.S. employees are “paid at the top of our scales, in excess of $25 an hour.”
According to investment banking firm UBS, which analyzed the employee-reported salaries of 25 major nationwide retailers in the United States, Dollar General pays its workers the least of the group but still above the national minimum at $9.68 an hour on average.
Dollar General isn’t the only discount chain that pays better than minimum wage: UBS reported that Dollar Tree’s starting pay is $10 per hour on average.
In July, the Minneapolis-based company made good on a target (no pun intended) to raise its starting pay from $13 to $15 by year’s end.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based business improved wages for about 165,000 hourly workers — or roughly 11% of its U.S. workforce — in October as part of the rollout of a new operating model in its Supercenter stores. Its minimum wage remains at $11.