Amazon raises wages for lower-paid workers

Dwayne Harmon
October 2, 2018

Employees who already make $15 an hour will also receive a raise, but Amazon didn't quantify it. Amazon said the additional expense of the wage increase will be incorporated into its earnings guidance, but it didn't detail those numbers in the blog post either.

The company said Tuesday the wage hike will benefit more than 350,000 workers, which includes full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal positions.

At the new pay rate, an Amazon employee who makes minimum wage would need to work more than 3 weeks (133 hours) to buy one share of the company's stock, which now sits above $2,000.

Workers across the country have pushed for a $15 minimum wage as they have drawn attention to growing income inequality.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive, said in a statement. Bezos is listed by Forbes as the world's richest man with a net worth of almost $150 billion. Walmart, which has 1 million workers, raised its minimum wage to $11 earlier this year. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs, said in a statement.

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Amazon, which became the second company after Apple to cross $1 trillion in market value last month, paid its US employees on average $34,123 previous year.

Employees of Whole Foods Market and all other Amazon subsidiaries are included in the wage increase. The median pay for an Amazon employee previous year was $28,446 worldwide, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.

The hourly minimum wage in the London area will rise to 10.50 pounds ($13.60), and 9.50 pounds in the rest of the United Kingdom, affecting some 37,000 current and seasonal employees, according to a separate statement.

Beyond the US, Amazon announced it will pay 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK.

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