CVS will raise its minimum wage for hourly workers to $15 by next summer, becoming the latest large US chain to pledge a $15 starting rate as companies compete for workers in a tight labor market.
The pharmacy giant with nearly 300,000 employees announced Wednesday that it will increase hourly wages this month. It plans to reach $15 an hour across the entire company in July. CVS will also raise the starting rate for call center representatives and pharmacy technicians above $15. The company stated that around 65% of CVS hourly employees earn more than $15 an hour.
Many service-sector employers, including restaurants, are having difficulty hiring. They have increased pay, signed bonuses, and expanded benefits to attract workers.
Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS, stated Wednesday that it was crucial to attract and retain top talent in our companies as we continue to redefine what it means for people to meet their health needs.
According to the company, it also stated that it has eliminated the requirement for a high school diploma or GED for entry-level positions and that it plans to remove the GPA requirement for university recruiting to increase its labor pool.
CVS joins an increasing number of companies like Amazon, Target, and Best Buy in moving to a $15-an hour starting wage.
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Walmart, McDonald’s, and Chipotle have all increased their minimum wage to $15 an hour in recent months.
Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. President Joe Biden supports lifting the federal minimum to $15, but a proposal to increase it to that level recently stalled in Congress.
In April, Biden signed an executive order lifting the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $15 in early 2022 from the current level of $10.95.