Ikea Resets Minimum Wage Debate For D.C. Area

Woodbridge store employees will likely see minimum wage climb to over $13 an hour.

Area employees will likely see minimum wage climb to over $13 an hour. Patch file photo.
Area employees will likely see minimum wage climb to over $13 an hour. Patch file photo.
A move by Ikea to increase the minimum wage for its employees will mean a big pay hike at all of its U.S. stores, but possibly the most significant increase for local employees.

Using MIT's Living Wage Calculator, the company will have a minimum wage based on the geographic area of each store beginning Jan. 1, according to media reports, including The Huffington Post.

That would put Ikea's average minimum wage at $10.76 an hour, but the company notes the minimum wage will go over $13 an hour in some markets. The MIT calculator puts Prince William County's "living wage" at $13.22 an hour.

Virginia's minimum wage is at $7.25 an hour, matching the federal minimum wage. Washington, D.C.'s minimum wage climbs to $9.50 an hour beginning Tuesday. 

Does the state or federal minimum wage need to be increased? Tell us in the comments section below!

The new minimum hourly wage will not increase Ikea prices, the company tells the New York Times.

Rob Olson, Ikea’s acting president for the United States and its chief financial officer, said the move is about improving the lives of employees.

“We are of course investing in our co-workers," Olson told the Times. "We believe they will invest in our customers, and they will invest in Ikea’s stores."

Caroline Klam June 27, 2014 at 06:16 AM
People who work full-time should be able to afford housing, healthcare and adequate nutrition and no one can do that on $7.00 an hour! Yes, the minimum wage should be raised to raise people above the poverty level.
Ronald R. Duquette June 27, 2014 at 08:35 AM
The statement by the CEO of Ikea that it's investing in its employees who will invest in the customers may seem like a no-brainer. However, it is an attitude sorely needed in this country. That attitude could address this country's need to deal with an aging infrastructure and other badly needed improvements. Happy employees will make for happy customers. Seems kinda simple, doesn't it?
righturn June 30, 2014 at 06:40 AM
The question is how long Ikea keeps people on minimum wage before seeing raises in pay. Chances are it will be a long, long time. Foolish Democrats can't see beyond the nose on their face.
Ronald R. Duquette June 30, 2014 at 08:02 AM
Well, righturn, if you're right, you're going about getting "foolish Democrats" to see the error of their ways altogether in the wrong way. This is precisely what is wrong with most discussions about these matters: we reduce ourselves to little kids in the playground calling each other names. Let's try this instead: fact. You say that Ikea will keep people longer on minimum wage without raises. Perhaps true. BUT, being kept on the "minimum" wage that Ikea will pay also means that families can perhaps rise above poverty level. You see, the tendency is to see the rise in the minimum wage as the beginning of economic degradation. Let's offer this counterperspective: that economic degradation already exists for far too many families with the current or even, God forbid, prior levels of pay. We've got restaurant chains resisting the idea of paying waiters minimum wage, when I've talked with them and they're being paid $2.13/hr. Although the counter to this is that they make plenty in tips, that's only at the upper echelon of restaurants. Most do not make enough in a day to stay ahead of poverty. "Let them get good jobs," is your reply. Well, some of them cannot now do so; and even if they were to try, their families would suffer while they are training for them. This is better? "This is how America has always been," I hear you counter. Really? And that was better? This is no longer 1870 - matters in this country have gone to a point where it's not quite so simple any more. So, perhaps those of us who are "foolish Democrats" who see this as a positive step can't see beyond the ends of our noses; but perhaps you can't see past your closed eyelids.
Alice Azzouzi June 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM
I am not surprise at company that comes from country who takes care of their citizens. There children get a free college education. Their Seniors are taken care. Mothers have liberal paid leave after birth of their child. In this country those in charge suck it dry and take and are not willing to provide for those who make them rich. They think poor working people are disposable and the new salve trade for the rich. to get richer.


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