Under Armour (UA) said Wednesday that it will bump up its minimum wage in the United States from $10 an hour to $15, becoming the latest company to raise pay to retain and recruit workers in a tight job market.
Under Armour said the new starting wage, which takes effect next month, will mean a pay raise for more than 8,000 current employees— 90% of Under Armour’s store and warehouse staff.
Many retailers, restaurants, warehouses and hospitality employers are struggling to fill jobs as more people get vaccinated and customer demand increases, a trend that has prompted scrutiny over wages in such industries. Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), McDonald’s (MCD), Chipotle (CMG) and others have responded in recent months by increasing pay for some or all of their staff.
Under Armour is betting that higher wages will help attract new employees. The company said it has more than 3,000 open positions in stores and warehouses.
“We needed to make a strategic decision on our hourly wages to be a competitive employer in the retail space,” Stephanie Pugliese, president of the Americas at Under Armour, said in a release.
There were 878,000 job openings in the retail sector in March, up 53% from the same month last year, and 1.2 million unfilled positions in the leisure and hospitality industry, an 86% increase from last March, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Amazon said last week that it is hiring 75,000 workers and offering $1,000 signing bonuses in some locations. The jobs offer an average starting pay of $17 an hour, higher than its $15 minimum wage.
McDonald’s also said last week that it is increasing hourly employees’ pay by about 10% for around 35,000 employees. Entry-level employees will earn at least $11 to $17 an hour.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. President Joe Biden supports lifting the federal minimum to $15, but a proposal to increase it to that level recently stalled in Congress.
Last month, 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.