At the start of 2016, California, Washington, and Minnesota had the highest state minimum wage of $10 per hour. New York, Oregon, and California intend to bump their minimum wage rates by 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 seven companies raising the minimum wage for their employees.

McDonald's Corp.

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 Corp. (NYSE: MCD) 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.


In July 2016, the world's most famous coffee store treated its 150,000 entry-level workers to a long-expected 15% minimum wage increase 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 Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) 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.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) bumped its minimum wage in July 2016, and 18,000 workers found themselves courted with an increase of $4.10 an hour. Minimum pay rose from $10.15 to $16.50. Bank manager Jamie Dimon said that this decision was the right thing to do, but critics pointed out that Dimon makes three times as much an hour as these poorly paid workers make in a year. They’re insisting that the executive pay them more.

Wells Fargo & Co.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) 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, 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.

Aetna Inc.

The health insurance company gifted its lowest-paid employees with a 33% rise in the minimum wage in April 2015. Almost 6,000 of its U.S. workers had been paid $12 an hour. Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) raised its wages to $16. The announcement stimulated significant public interest, with the L.A. Times commenting that Aetna showed that a well-paid workforce makes for a happier, more productive business with long-range benefits.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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 Stores Inc.. (NYSE: WMT), 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.


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 salary, so its minimum wage in Washington, D.C., was $14.54, while its lowest minimum wage, in Pittsburgh, was $10.

Costco Wholesale Corp.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) joined the momentum and hiked its starting wage of $11.50 an hour to $12 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.

Other Companies

Other prominent companies felt impelled to raise their minimum wages, too. These include Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), T.J. Maxx, and Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS). All of these companies reported improved customer service, happier workers, savings, and more professional candidates seeking to work for them.