Amazon Will Pay a $15/Hr Minimum Wage to All U.S. Employees Starting Nov. 1
Amazon delivered news Tuesday morning that will affect hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers: increased wages.
The retail giant is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all U.S. employees, effective Nov. 1. The increase applies to full-, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees. Amazon subsidiaries such as Whole Foods will also see the wage increase.
More than 250,000 current Amazon employees will benefit from the wage increase, as will the 100,000-plus seasonal employees the company plans to hire for the holidays.
Currently, starting hourly pay at Amazon varies, usually depending on region. For example, a listing for a seasonal, part-time warehouse team member in Kent, Washington, has starting pay at $14.25 per hour — the same job in Theodore, Alabama, lists a starting pay of $10.40 per hour.
The company also announced that it will start lobbying for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which is currently at $7.25 per hour.
Maybe Amazon is being altruistic — or maybe the company is thinking of seasonal hiring needs in an extremely tight labor market.
Major retailers across the country are in the midst of major hiring for the holiday season and scrambling to fill openings. The arms race for workers has prompted many to announce wage increases, better schedules and increased benefits. Amazon appears to be following suit.
Amazon has increasingly faced criticism over pay disparity and working conditions.
A company filing in April revealed that the median pay for fulfillment center employees was just $28,446. And shortly after the retailer become the second U.S. company to hit the $1 trillion market-value milestone in early September, Sen. Bernie Sanders made headlines for announcing legislation targeted at Amazon and other companies for their low-wage practices.
In a press release regarding the wage increase, Amazon acknowledged some of the flack it has been receiving.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Kaitlyn Blount is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.