FACT FINDER: Could Costco's high wages create competition for other stores?


A major retailer will soon be heading to Michiana, creating hundreds of jobs.

Unlike most stores that pay minimum wage to start, Costco's employees make an average of about $21 an hour, according to Yahoo Finance.

So could this high wage create competition for other stores and drive their wages up?

There has been steady construction since it was announced that Costco will be opening here in Mishawaka this fall.

It will be the 5th in the Hoosier state and for some that can't come soon enough.

Nakesha Johnson, who's unemployed, says Costco could brighten her future financially.

"If you offer more money, more people are willing to work," Johnson says.

Jay Mattern President of People Link, a temp-staffing company out of South Bend, says Costco will definitely have an impact at least short-term.

"You'll see a lot of people attempting to migrate from wherever they are working to get a shot at Costco," Mattern says.

According to Yahoo Finance, Costco pays its employees an average of nearly $21 per hour about 65% higher than its largest rival, Wal-Mart.

And, Costco's starting hourly pay is $11.50.

"They fast track people and are really good at giving increases and recognizing performers and probably better at retaining better than some other employers," Mattern says.

Jeff Rea President & CEO with the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce says over the last decade the county has a good track record of median income going up and Costco will help that trend.

"The mishawaka area in particular has seen strong growth in the retail corridor in each time some one came in we only saw it upped what was happening in that marketplace," Rea says.

We did reach out to Costco corporate for more details on starting wages/benefits.

We received an email stating, "Our corporate policy is to not comment on specific markets."