President Barack Obama has said that he would like to raise the country’s minimum wage to $9 per hour. The CEO of Costco said the increase would be good for businesses and workers alike. He also said that the minimum wage should be raised even higher. Craig Jelinek has announced his support of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. This act looks to raise the per hour rate to $10.10 and then adjust it for inflation after that.
“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” Jelinek said in a statement. “We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low.”
“An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees,” Jelinek added. “Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”
The company has built a reputation of paying its workers above the market rate, with the typicaly employee earning $45,000 in 2011. The founder of Costco, Jim Sinegal, voiced his support for raising the minimum wage in 2007 when he spoke with the Washington Post. He said, “The more people make, the better lives they’re going to have and the better consumers they’re going to be. It’s going to provide better jobs and better wages.”