In a tight labor market where many jobs are going begging, mega-retailer Sam’s Club is fighting the trend by raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The higher wage eclipses the $11 per hour starting wage paid now, and will go into effect Sept. 25, according to a company memo sent out by CEO Kath McLay.
“We’re investing further in roles — such as team leads — that help associates climb the ladder and build long-term careers with us,” McLay said in the memo to employees. “And we’re making other targeted role and geographic investments to stay competitive in the marketplace.”
The new minimum pay rate will put Sam’s on par with competitors such as Target, which has a similar $15 per hour starting wage, and Costco, which has a $16 entry wage. Amazon’s starting wage is $18 per hour.
It does put Sam’s in front of sister company Walmart, which has a starting wage of $12 per hour.
Most of Sam’s current workers already make more than $15 per hour, and the new introductory wage rate will mean Sam’s employees have an average hourly rate of more than $17. Walmart has an average hourly wage of $16.40.
Sam’s appears to be taking aim at a shortage of workers in the United States and has made its move as the holiday shopping season approaches.
“We’re working to create an environment where you feel challenged and fulfilled in any number of interesting roles,” McLay said in the memo. “We want you to stay with us, grow with us, and enjoy the advantages of being a Sam’s Club associate.”
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.