The debate over whether to raise the minimum wage (which varies by state)—and if so, by how much—has been escalating over the past few years. About one-third of the way into 2019, people are now finally beginning to see local governments make good on promises to increase their wages. While some small businesses may be hurt by this, the truth is that in most cases, the current state minimum is not a livable wage. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a person living in New York City needs $15.97 per hour to get by, but the legal minimum is roughly $5 less than that. This issue is more common than you may think; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the largest industry in the country, retail, provides below-average pay.
But 2019 is the year of change for workers, and big companies are already making headlines with announcements of what their new hourly wages are. Here are 12 major companies that are paying more than the national average minimum wage:
- Bank of America Bank of America recently announced that the company would be increasing its minimum wage to $20 per hour. The increase will take place over a period of a few years, reaching their target goal in 2021.
- Target Target now pays its employees at its 1,845 U.S. stores a minimum of $13 per hour. The company aims to raise its minimum even more, looking at a wage of $15 per hour by the year 2020.
- Amazon Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was so proud to announce that his company would be instituting a new pay rate of $15 per hour that he has challenged his competitors to try to out-do him. Bezos even went so far as to write in a letter to his shareholders, “Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us.”
- Costco U.S. News and World Report reported that Costco is now raising their minimum wage to $15 per hour from $14 per hour after they saw a 7.3 percent increase in net sales in 2019’s second fiscal quarter.
- Walmart Walmart pays its employees a minimum of $11 per hour. While the company has yet to make the commitment to go up to $15 per hour like some of its competitors, Walmart recently gave worker’s more sick days and will give bonuses to employees with few absences.
- CVS CVS Health, the largest drugstore chain in America, is raising its minimum pay rate to $11 per hour. USA Today also reports that CVS plans to improve benefits for parental leave.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. This big bank offers a minimum wage of $16.50 per hour. Additionally, JPMorgan is increasing the minimum pay to $18 per hour for its workers in major cities.
- IKEA IKEA hasn’t made any new announcements regarding minimum wage, but they were ahead of the curve when they raised their minimum wage for U.S. workers to $11.87 per hour back in 2015.
- Ben & Jerry’s The quirky ice cream company boasts its minimum pay rate of $16.92 per hour on their website. Like IKEA, Ben & Jerry’s made the change in 2015 and is happy to provide a livable wage to workers instead of just the bare minimum.
- Nordstrom Nordstrom employees make a minimum of $11.71 per hour. The retail company consistently makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
- The Home Depot MarketWatch.com reports that The Home Depot has its minimum wage set at $11.09 per hour. The home improvement chain employs approximately 400,000 people in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
- Lowe’s Home Improvement Lowe’s beats out Home Depot’s minimum with a $12.95 hourly wage. This chain employees about 100,000 fewer employee’s than its competitor, though.
On the other side of the coin, these are the highest-paying jobs in every state.