waitress bringing out two trays with food on them
(Shutterstock Photo)

Some businesses are also offering sign-on bonuses as they refill their ranks. 

While the push for a federal $15 minimum wage has yet to succeed, some Arizona businesses are taking it upon themselves to bring up starting wages to that level. 

The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour. The state’s minimum wage currently sits at $12.15. Flagstaff is ahead of the game— the city’s minimum wage bumped up to $15 an hour at the beginning of this year. 

Some businesses have been struggling to refill their ranks after having to close temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite evidence to the contrary, some business owners and politicians have tried to blame hiring difficulties on the extra unemployment payments approved in COVID relief bills. At times over the past 18 months, the federal government offered an additional $600 per week on top of the state’s $240 a week. At other times, the federal boost was $300. 

RELATED: Phoenix Coffee Shop Proving $15 Minimum Wage Is Possible

Arizona’s last round of extra $300 payments ended in July. An analysis conducted shortly after by University of Massachusetts Amherst Economics Professor Arindrajit Dube found that cuts to unemployment didn’t result in an increase in employment, although he noted he was looking at early numbers and would continue to track the data. 

In July 2020, Yale economists found “no evidence that high UI replacement rates drove job losses or slowed rehiring.” 

To try to attract new workers, some businesses in Arizona are bumping up wages and offering sign-on bonuses and other incentives—one Prescott restaurant group even offered to pay employees’ community college tuition. 

Check out the list below for some above-minimum-wage opportunities in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, as of Sept. 9:  

Food

Cafe Monarch, an upscale restaurant in Scottsdale, is hiring hosts and dishwashers starting at $15 an hour, according to Monarch Hospitality Group Vice President Phillip Lewkowicz. 

Healthy fast-food chain Chop Shop is looking to hire hospitality team members for $15-20 an hour at locations across the Valley. 

Five Guys is looking for crew members in Tempe and Phoenix and offers $15 an hour plus tips. 

LGO Hospitality is hiring line cooks at both of Ingo’s Tasty Food’s locations for $19-22 an hour. The company is also hiring “experienced” pantry and grill cooks at Buck and Rider in Phoenix for $18-19 per hour. 

Salad And Go pays all positions at least $15. The drive-thru chain has dozens of locations throughout the Valley and one in Tucson, with one more set to open soon in southern Arizona. 

White Castle in Scottsdale is hiring team members starting at $15 an hour. They pay increases to $15.50 an hour after a month of training and $16 an hour after six months on the job. 

Retail

Grocery store chain ALDI is hiring lead store associates for $15.50 an hour, with a pay increase after the first year. Regular store associates make $14.50 an hour. 

Changing Hands Bookstore is hiring a bookseller at its Phoenix location, which pays $15 an hour after training. That location is also looking for a First Draft team member. Owner Cindy Dach said these bartender/baristas have a lower wage but with a shared tip pool it comes out to more than $15 an hour. And even if tips were to fall below that threshold, Dach said, the business will cover the difference.  

Cobblestone Auto Spa is hiring full-service sales team members in Cave Creek, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. Workers are guaranteed $15 an hour plus a $200 sign-on bonus after a month of training. 

Flower Bar in Scottsdale is looking for a floral studio assistant starting at $15 an hour. They’re also looking for a delivery driver. Owner Megan Carollo said that pay is based on distance, but the driver can make $15-45 per hour.  

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa is hiring sales associates in Glendale, Peoria, and Phoenix for $15 an hour, with the ability to make $20-23 an hour with commissions. 

Golf company Swing King is hiring part-time sales associates in Phoenix and Tucson for “an average of $20+ an hour.” New hires will also receive a $100 signing bonus after working four shifts.

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