With Minimum Wage on the Rise, These Are Some of the Retailers With the Highest Starting Pay

Samantha McDonald
·2 min read

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.

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Later in the year, another four states — Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia — plus Washington, D.C., will see an increase in their baseline pay.

Over the past year, 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.

Amazon

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.

Costco

The membership-only warehouse chain’s minimum wage sits at $15 for hourly workers. It made the change last March — the second such increase in less than a year at Costco.

Dollar General

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 Tree

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.

Target

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.

Walmart

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.

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