CVS has announced that it will raise its hourly minimum wage for workers from $11 to $15 over the course of the next year. The company said wage increases will start this month and starting hourly rates will hit the $15 mark by next July.
The pay bump comes as companies struggle to attract workers as a result of pandemic-related factors. CVS noted that 65% of its hourly employees already make more than $15 an hour, but the pay increase should help it expand its workforce. The company has also dropped its high school diploma or GED requirement for most positions.
"Attracting and retaining top talent across our businesses is critical as we continue to redefine what it means to meet people's health needs," CVS CEO Karen Lynch said Wednesday.
CVS joins other retailers in raising pay to help fill positions. Amazon, Target, and Best Buy have all recently unveiled plans to shift to a $15-an-hour starting rate. Walmart said the pay increase would help it keep its employment numbers high enough to keep up with changing consumer demand brought on by the pandemic.
“We saw major changes to customer behavior last year we believe will be lasting, and we have to continue working to stay in-stock, deliver items on time and provide the best omni experience possible,” CEO John Furner told The Wall Street Journal.
The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour. President Biden has expressed support for raising the minimum to $15, but a proposal to increase it to that figure stalled in Congress back in February.