Sam's Club raises minimum wage to $15 and more business news

File-This Feb. 23, 2018, file photo shows the company logo of Sam's Club on the facade of a store in Concord, N.H.. Walmart’s Sam’s Club is teaming up with several health care companies to offer discounts on everyday care its customers might delay or skip because of the cost. Starting early October, Sam’s Club members in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, will be able to buy one of four bundles of health care services ranging in annual fees from $50 for individuals to $240 for a family of up to six members. The pilot program could potentially be rolled out to members in all the states, says Lori Flees, senior vice president of Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Sam's Club raises pay to $15 an hour

Sam's Club is officially setting $15 an hour as its minimum wage, even though 95% of its warehouse club workers are already making that.

The division of Walmart said it also is raising department leader position pay from $18 to $19 an hour and increasing pay for tire and battery center technicians, personal shoppers who fill online orders and forklift drivers.

About a third (34%) of Sam's Club hourly employees will see their pay rise on Sept. 25. Starting pay for Sam's Club now ranges from $15 to $20 an hour depending on the market and store location.

Last week, Walmart raised its minimum wage by $1 to $12 an hour and said starting wages range up to $17, depending on the location and department within its stores. That raise affects 565,000 Walmart hourly employees.

Walmart's new U.S. average hourly wage is $16.40.

Companies are rushing to raise wages in one of the most competitive labor markets in U.S. history with 10 million unfilled jobs and workers more confident to try out a new career or employer. Companies including Walmart, Target and Amazon are offering raises, bonuses and free college tuition as the pandemic put a spotlight on and created a stronger appreciation for front-line workers and their roles in the economy.

Consumer prices rise 0.3% in August

U.S. consumer prices rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% last month, the smallest monthly increase in seven months and a hopeful sign that inflation pressures may be cooling.

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that the August gain was down from a 0.5% increase in July and a 0.9% surge in June. It was the smallest increase since a similar 0.3% rise in January. The August slowdown in prices was seen as offering hope that Americans were finally starting to see some relief from a price surge earlier in the year.

Boeing hopeful despite pandemic

Despite the pandemic's damage to air travel, Boeing says it's optimistic about long-term demand for airplanes.

Boeing said Tuesday it expects the aerospace market to be worth $9 trillion over the next decade. That includes planes for airlines and military uses and other aerospace products and services. That outlook is even rosier than the one Boeing gave in 2019, when it predicted industrywide sales of $8.7 billion over the next decade.

In the U.S. and around the world, air travel within countries is picking up faster than cross-border travel, as the U.S. and many other countries maintain high barriers to international travel.

Billionaire Cohen backs crypto trader

A cryptocurrency company launched by partners of a major Wall Street trading firm has snagged the support of billionaire investor Steven A. Cohen.

The hedge-fund manager and owner of the New York Mets has agreed in principle to invest in Radkl, a crypto trading firm, though the deal is not final. The company is being launched by partners of GTS, a firm that trades as much as a billion shares of U.S. stocks on a given day.

Radkl, which is pronounced like "radical," plans to trade across cryptocurrency coins and exchanges. It's the latest foray by big names from the traditional financial world into crypto.

- Compiled by Dave Flessner