As of August, the retail market was short 1.2 million workers, and restaurants were short 1.5 million. More Americans are leaving their jobs due to low wages than ever before, and now rates that have been stagnant for decades are finally seeing an increase.

Along with the rest of the market, Costco (COST  ) and Starbucks (SBUX  ) are currently in a battle for new hires. Costco is raising starting wages to $17 an hour less than a year after raising that rate to $16 an hour. Starbucks, meanwhile, has announced that it will begin paying a starting wage of $15 an hour starting this coming summer, with some baristas making up to $23 an hour.

When Costco increased wages to $16 an hour in February, it was already paying more than most of its competitors. According to the company, at that time, more than half of Costco's hourly U.S. employees were already making more than $25 an hour.

"I want to note this isn't altruism," Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek said following the Feb. increase. "At Costco we know that paying employees good wages ... makes sense for our business and constitutes a significant competitive advantage for us. It helps us in the long run by minimizing turnover and maximizing employee productivity."

Recently, there has been a growing push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. While the majority of big companies have come out in support of raising the minimum wage, a handful says $15 may be too high. Most small businesses, on the other hand, strongly oppose a $15 minimum wage.

Finding people willing to work for less than $15 an hour is only going to get harder for those small business owners. Already, nearly a million Americans are employed by Amazon (AMZN  ) at rates of $15 an hour and higher. In some areas, the company is paying new employees as much as $22.50 an hour, along with an up to $3,000 sign-on bonus.

Target (TGT  ), Best Buy (BBY  ), and Walgreens (WBA  ) have also adopted a $15 an hour entry pay rate, and CVS (CVS  ) plans to join them in mid-2022.

Costco and other hiring competitors aren't the only ones making business difficult for Starbucks. The company is currently facing pressure from New York-based labor unions asking for better training, pay, and more.

Along with announcing the pay increase, Starbucks stated that it would be carrying out "a complete redesign" of its training and scheduling systems. Employees can also earn a $200 referral bonus if they can bring in new workers. The company has also scheduled a series of raises to come into effect in January.