Bridgewater bumps base pay | BankBeat

Jerry Baack

Twin Cities-based Bridgewater Bank announced Tuesday that it will raise its minimum wage to $20 per hour for all regular, full-time employees, beginning Aug. 1. 

Bridgewater is believed to be one of the first Minnesota companies to establish the $20 hourly figure. The increase represents an 11 percent rise in the bank’s existing minimum wage and benefits 14 percent of its full-time employee base. The minimum wage increase at the bank, a subsidiary of Bridgewater Bancshares Inc., comes as competition to attract workers remains intense for businesses, including banks, as the nation continues recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the tight labor market, businesses have increased their wages and offered other benefits to attract employees.

Bridgewater Bank has locations throughout the metro, including Bloomington, Minneapolis, St. Paul, in addition to its St. Louis Park headquarters. 

“As the premier entrepreneurial bank in the Twin Cities, we are focused on continuing to attract and retain the best talent through our unconventional culture, competitive benefits, and now, a leading minimum wage,” said President & CEO Jerry Baack. “Many of our employees enter the bank through entry-level roles, and we want everyone to know they play a vital role in supporting our fast-growing bank. Taking this important step is simply the right thing to do.” 

Minnesota’s current minimum wage for large employers is $10.08 per hour, which is still $2.83 higher than the federal minimum wage.

According to the Reuters news organization, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said last month that he expects recent high inflation readings will not last and Americans will return to the labor market in large numbers this fall. 

“We should see a lot more labor supply in the fall,” Kashkari said in a virtual event hosted by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council of Foundations, once the three main factors holding back labor supply — the closures of schools and daycare facilities, fear of the coronavirus, and extra unemployment benefits authorized by Congress — have faded.

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