California is about to raise minimum wage. These Merced retailers already have higher pay

California’s new minimum wage goes into effect in just over a month. But some retailers in the Merced-area are already offering a higher starting pay.

The national average wage for cashiers is $13.81 or $28,730 annually, according to 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In California, the hourly average wage for cashiers was $16.81. The state has the most people working as cashiers at 390,590.

The current minimum wage in California is $15.50. That will increase to $16 on Jan. 1, according to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations. Some counties and cities have higher requirements. The minimum wage for fast food workers will rise to $20 an hour in 2024.

Some companies also pay more than the state requires. Costco, for example, raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour in 2021, CNN and Business Insider reported.

If you work a 40-hour week, the $15.50 minimum comes out to roughly $31,200. That’s lower than what MIT Living Wage Calculator estimates an individual would need to meet basic needs, such as child care, housing and food. A living wage for one adult without children in California would be $21.24.

Here’s how much some of the state’s largest retailers pay their employees:

Retailer wages in Merced

Target: In 2022, Target increased its starting wage range. It’s now $15 to $24. A cashier role in Merced starts at $16.25 an hour.

Walmart: The average hourly pay for frontline associates at Walmart is more than $17.50, the company posted on its site. A Walmart cashier could earn between $16 to $26 in Merced.

The Home Depot: The home improvement company announced in February it was increasing the starting pay to or above $15 an hour across the U.S. In California, where the minimum wage is higher, employees earn more. A cashier at The Home Depot in Merced could earn between $18.50 to $19.50 an hour.

Lowe’s Home Improvement: The pay range for a loader/cart associate at Lowe’s is between $15.50 to $18.60 an hour, according to a Fresno job posting.

Kohl’s: A seasonal retail sales associate at Kohl’s could earn between $15.50 and $22.40 an hour in Merced.

JCPenney: A cashier at JcPenney in Merced could earn $15.50 to $23.25 hourly.

TJ Maxx: A retail merchandise associate at TJ Maxx in Turlock could earn between $15.50 and $16 an hour.

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