Amazon just raised its minimum wage to $15 for all employees

Jonathan Weiss

Jonathan Weiss

That also extends to all Amazon subsidiaries such as Whole Foods.

Amid low pay and reports of poor working conditions, Amazon had always been a target of minimum wage activists and progressives.

The wage increase takes effect next month. It will climb to $13 in July 2019.

Arizona: Minimum wage in Arizona jumped by $3.60 in the past decade, from $6.90 to $10.50 an hour.

The current United Kingdom minimum wage for adults over 25 is £7.83 ($10.15). According to Amazon, more than 250,000 employees including over 100,000 seasonal workers will benefit from the increased pay. And in that time, the rate "has lost about 9.6 percent of its purchasing power to inflation", the Pew Research Center said a year ago. That's a negative 1.3 point differential over the first eight months of the year, compared to a 0.8 point drop from January to August 2017. That's the fastest annual gain since the Great Recession ended. There are now more available jobs than unemployed people, the first time that has happened in the 18 years the government has tracked data on open jobs.

Amazon's move comes after widespread strikes by workers across Europe. The company's rapid growth requires "a lot of recruitment which is becoming increasingly hard in a tight labor market", he said.

Nonetheless, he said, "No matter how cynically one wants to interpret it, it's still good news".




Members of Congress have railed against Amazon for paying its warehouse workers far too little as it has grown to be the world's second most valuable company and its CEO the world's richest person. It was offering at least $12.50 for workers in the Chicago area, $12.25 an hour in Omaha, Neb., $13 in Baltimore and $16.50 in NY, according to recent job postings.

The move follows pay raise plans from companies such as Target and Disney World, but none are moving quite as quickly as Amazon, which has faced criticism for conditions in its dozens of fulfillment centers nationwide. More money in the pocket of their workers is certainly good for the USA economy, however, some things about this raise have yet to be taken into account.

Amazon, which became the second company after Apple to cross $US1 trillion in market value last month, now pays around $US11 per hour. Bezos thanked Sanders for his support on Twitter Tuesday. He adds that the wage hike won't be "the domino that knocked over the entire rack of dominoes". By way of comparison, Walmart's minimum wage is $11 an hour and Target is aiming to achieve $15 an hour by 2020.

"This will impact more than 37,000 employees across the country, resulting in higher pay for them and their families". Walmart is now the largest private employer in the nation, with a workforce topping 1.5 million employees. This past spring, it raised its starting hourly pay for its workers to $12.

At first glance, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' statement accompanying the announcement suggests it's the former.

Responding to the new policy Tuesday, Sanders said Bezos' previous wages for workers "were so low that many of them were forced to go on food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other governmental programs".

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