Stop me if you've heard this before: Higher wages are coming to America.
In a letter sent to employees on Monday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz outlined numerous company-benefit initiatives that would take effect later this year.
Among them is that Starbucks will be giving all of its US employees a raise of at least 5% effective October 3.
The company is also doubling the annual stock award for employees who work at the company for at least two years straight.
Starbucks said these changes would result in pay increases of 5% and 15% for all US employees depending on tenure. This announcement follows news out last week that the company would raise prices on some drinks by up to 30 cents starting this Tuesday.
And while the company is certainly raising wages ahead of expected minimum-wage hikes in multiple states, Starbucks' preemptive wage increase also reflects clear competition for labor in the services economy.
In the June jobs report we saw that average hourly earnings in the US rose 2.6% over the prior year, the fastest since the financial crisis.
Wages in the leisure-and-hospitality sector -- which include Starbucks' customer-facing employees -- are rising faster than the national average, increasing 4% over the prior year in June.
Again, as we have written numerous times, the labor market has been approaching "full employment" over the past couple of years, which is effectively the point at which wage increases begin to accelerate quickly.
And a company like Starbucks, which has more than 180,000 full-time employees worldwide and which operates nearly 12,000 stores in the US, will feel this squeeze perhaps more acutely than any other business.
Because as pay increases across the labor market and competition for lower-skill workers intensifies, it is imperative for Starbucks to retain staff to keep the customer experience smooth.
And the easiest way to keep your workers is to pay them more.