As of 2022, California, (parts of) New York, and Washington had the highest state minimum wage of $15, $15, and $14.75 per hour, respectively. Many states increased their minimum wage rates in 2021 and 26 more will do so in 2022.
In the meantime, a number of companies have cut to the chase and gratified their workers by hiking their own entry-level wages. Here are eight companies that have raised the minimum wage for their employees.
The fast-food giant sought to attract customers by improving 10% of its workers' wages on the premise that happier workers make happier customers. McDonald's raised wages to $9.90 per hour in July 2015 and, subsequently, noted that turnover rates are down and customer survey scores are higher. Labor advocates were displeased and pressed the hamburger chain to raise its minimum wage to a $15 rate.
Currently, the average hourly pay is $10.71, with an Assistant Manager in Fast Food making around $13/hr and a Ronald McDonald House Manager making $9/hr.
In July 2016, the world's most famous coffee store treated its 150,000 entry-level workers to a long-expected minimum wage increase of up to 15% in order to keep its stores open. The fact was that at least 8.5% of its workers had already demanded this higher pay.
One day after raising its minimum wage, Starbucks raised its prices. A Starbucks spokeswoman mentioned that wage increases and beverage price increases were two separate decisions. Both were intended to make the company more competitive.
Starbucks pays an average hourly salary of $11.81, with the range being from an average of $9.09 to $17.03. The highest-paid position is Store Manager, making around $20/hr and a Barista making $11/hr.
Bank of America
In 2019, Bank of America bumped up its minimum wage from $15 to $17 and in 2020 it increased the minimum wage rate to $20. The $20 increase was initially planned for 2021, but the bank moved up the timeline.
Bank of America now pays a higher minimum wage than most of its competitors.
Wells Fargo has long been paying its workers a minimum wage of $12 to $16.50 an hour, at a time when entry-level employees of most competitive companies received one-third of that salary.
The company's chief financial officer (CFO) at the time, John Shrewsberry, said that this new rate had long become part of its run-rate expenses. The hike pushed some other banks, such as JP Morgan, to raise their rates, too.
In 2020, Wells Fargo announced that it was increasing its minimum wage to $20 in many of its locations. Their minimum wage actually ranges between $15 to $20, depending on the location, and impact more than 20,000 workers.
The health insurance company gifted its lowest-paid employees with up to 33% more per hour in April 2015. Almost 6,000 of its U.S. workers had been paid $12 an hour. Aetna raised its wages to $16. The announcement stimulated significant public interest, with some commenting that Aetna showed that a well-paid workforce makes for a happier, more productive business with long-range benefits.
America’s corporate giant has had an up-and-down love affair with a percentage of consumers who love its low prices but loathe its alleged stinginess. Walmart, forced to exonerate its name, gave its entry-level workers a hike to at least $10 an hour in January 2016.
This was a step up from its $9 salary implemented the previous April. Shortly after, Walmart closed 154 U.S. stores and fired 10,000 workers, but for the more than 1.1 million U.S. employees who received the wage hike, their work performance improved as a result.
In 2020, Walmart announced that it was updating its pay scale and increasing its minimum wage for various employee roles. The minimum wage will start between $18 to $21 an hour and go up to $30 an hour. The change is set to impact 165,000 employees.
Ikea’s minimum wage raise was so successful that it lifted wages again to nearly $12 an hour in January 2016; a 10.3% increase over the previous year. Ikea reduced turnover by 5%, attracted more qualified candidates, and reported that the company saved more money as a result. Ikea used the MIT living wage calculator to raise the pay, so its minimum wage in Washington, D.C., was $14.54, while its lowest minimum wage, in Pittsburgh, was $10.
Ikea's average hourly rate is $16.47 an hour with the average ranging from $12.02 to $23.94.
Costco joined the momentum and hiked its starting wage of $11.50 an hour to $13 in March 2016, and threw in company-sponsored health benefits to boot. The company started off with $7.25 in 2009 and reported that its new move comes with the aim of raising the quality of its workforce.
In 2019, Costco raised its minimum wage to $15.
Other prominent companies felt compelled to raise their minimum wages, too. These include Target, T.J. Maxx, Amazon.com, and Gap. All of these companies reported improved customer service, happier workers, savings, and more professional candidates seeking to work for them.