Amazon to Pay $15 an Hour to All U.S. Employees

Amazon ($AMZN) announced Tuesday the change will affect more than 250,000 employees, more than 100,000 seasonal holiday workers, and associates employed by temp agencies.

Amazon today announced that over 250,000 of its employees along with an additional 100,000 or more seasonal workers will see their pay increased to $15 per hour from November 1. Bernie Sanders in recent months added his voice to the criticism, targeting the company and its leader by name with legislation that would tax companies the cost of the food stamps and other federal assistance provided to their employees.

At the new pay rate, an Amazon employee who makes the new minimum wage would need to work more than three weeks (133 hours) to buy one share of the company's stock, which now sits above $2,000.

The company has also been criticised for its employment practices, with complaints over working conditions in its warehouses.

An Amazon employee stocks shelves at a Prime Now fulfillment center in Seattle? "And I want to congratulate Mr. Bezos for doing exactly the right thing".

Despite its domination, Amazon shares one potential hurdle that is growing higher for nearly all employers big and small: a tightening labour market. And in that time, the rate "has lost about 9.6 percent of its purchasing power to inflation", the Pew Research Center said previous year.

Amazon's pay varies by location, so the increase could be between $3 and $5 an hour, depending on the state. Higher pay for workers is one way of dealing with that. But even more significantly, his pledge to engage in advocating for higher wage standards shows remarkable and rare leadership. The online giant is the country's second-largest private employer, behind Walmart.

Amazon wants people to know it supports higher wages for workers at other companies too. This past spring, it raised its starting hourly pay for its workers to $12.

Target said in September 2017 that it planned to raise hourly pay to $15 by 2020. With Tuesday's move, Amazon has done that already.

Employees of Whole Foods Market and all other Amazon subsidiaries are included in the wage increase. That comes to $13.68 an hour.

In the past year, Bezos earned an estimated $39.2 billion, compared with the $28,466 median annual worker pay at Amazon.

In two decades the company expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings, combining its world-spanning retail operation with less flashy but very profitable advertising and cloud computing businesses.

Amazon's market capitalization now stands near $1 trillion; it paid Bezos, its founder and CEO, $1.68 million past year.

The online retailing giant, which has several huge depots in Doncaster, is raising pay for hundreds of thousands of workers in the United States and the UK.

Amazon shares, trading lower before the company announced the wage hike, were down less than 0.3 percent at $1,997.75 in trading before the bell.

Amazon opened a 2.4-million-square-foot warehouse south of Orlando International Airport in August and has been furiously hiring workers to get to its 1,500 employee goal.

  • David Armstrong