The need to attract and retain employees has driven Bar Harbor-based Jackson Laboratory, one of the world’s most prominent biomedical research institutions, to hike its wages at an annual cost of $5 million.

The nonprofit lab on Monday said it will immediately adjust the minimum hourly pay for employees from $15 to $18. More than 1,200 employees — about half of the workforce — will receive the raise.

Among them are workers in areas including animal care and operations, research, administration and technical roles, according to a news release. In addition, most hourly employees who receive more than the minimum wage will get an increase to their compensation later this month. Read more