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Walgreen's Pharmacy prescription medicine drug counter pickup

Walgreens is the latest big company to promise it will pay workers at least $15 an hour. The drugstore chain announced on Tuesday it will begin phasing in a $15 base hourly wage for all its employees this fall.

Although about half of the company’s employees already make at least $15 an hour, the change will affect tens of thousands of workers at one of the largest pharmacy chains in the U.S.

Job openings were at a record high this summer, and employers hoping to stand out and attract workers have been offering higher pay and better perks and benefits. Employers like Wawa and Papa John's began offering signing bonuses for some workers this summer. Target has promised to pay for college for employees at more than 40 different schools.

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Walgreens' decision to raise worker pay to at least $15 an hour comes one month after a similar announcement from one its main rivals. A month ago, CVS promised to increase hourly pay to $15 by next summer.

The minimum wage is already $15 in at least nine states and Washington, D.C. And the average hourly pay in restaurants and grocery stores across the country has reached $15. A recent report, however, found that wage is not enough for a family to live on anywhere in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage hasn’t budged since 2009. It’s stuck at $7.25 an hour, and there are seven states that still abide by that low rate. (They are: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, Wyoming.)

Jobs paying $15 an hour (or more)

Here is a list of large companies that we know recently committed to raising their base wages and will pay $15 an hour (or more) nationally:

  • PNC Bank: Employees were already paid at least $15/hour and will move up to $18/hour.
  • Walgreens: All workers will be paid $15/hour by November 2022.
  • Southwest Airlines: The airline raised wages for all workers to $15/hour earlier this summer.
  • Costco: The retail giant moved its base wage from $15/hour to $16/hour this year.
  • CVS: The company will raise its base wage for all workers by July 2022.
  • Wayfair: All U.S.-based employees began earning at least $15 at the start of this year.
  • Under Armour: As of June 6, the minimum wage was raised to $15/hour.

It's also worth noting that some major companies that depend on low-wage workers — like Target, Amazon and Best Buy — have been paying all employees at least $15 for a year or more.

Others like Chipotle, Kroger and Walmart have announced they’ll raise the average wage for employees to $15 per hour or higher. However, even if the average is boosted to $15, many employees will still be paid below that threshold.

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