BREAKING NEWS ISU Alert: Shooting at Highland Quarters Full Story

Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all US employees

Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all US employees.

Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all US employees.

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 9:27 AM

(CNN Money) -- Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all US employees.

The change takes effect November 1 and applies to full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Amazon says the $15 minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, plus 100,000 seasonal workers.

"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."

The change applies to Whole Foods and all other subsidiary employees.

Amazon also said its public policy team will begin lobbying for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.

The size and explosive growth of Amazon give the decision importance far beyond the hundreds of thousands of people who will benefit directly.

Amazon is among the largest employers in the United States, and it has added more American jobs in the past decade than any other company.

The decision also raises the stakes for potential workers at Amazon's so-called HQ2 competition — its plan to create a second headquarters, with as many as 50,000 jobs. The company has named 20 cities as finalists, including Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Critics, including independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have criticized Amazon for not paying workers enough. They have drawn a contrast with Bezos' spectacular wealth: He is the richest person alive, worth an estimated $165 billion.

Workers across the country have pushed for a $15 minimum wage.

Supporters say it's a remedy for widening wage inequality and will boost consumer spending, while opponents counter that it could reduce opportunities for employment, particularly for teenagers and others looking for entry level or low-skilled jobs.

Some companies have responded to the public pressure.

Target announced in September that it would raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour and $15 by 2020. Disney reached a deal with its unions to pay a minimum of $15 an hour at Disneyland in California in 2019 and at Disney World in Florida by 2021.

And Walmart, the country's largest private-sector employer, which has more than 1 million US workers, raised its minimum wage to $11 in February.

Jay Carney, Amazon's senior vice president for global corporate affairs, pledged that the company would advocate a minimum wage increase "that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country."

Neil Saunders, managing director of the consultancy GlobalData Retail, said that the move could help Amazon recruit workers.

"Without a rise in wages, Amazon would be placing itself at a disadvantage in the labor market," Saunders said. The company's rapid growth requires "a lot of recruitment which is becoming increasingly difficult in a tight labor market," he said. "This is especially so over the holiday season."

Saunders added that the decision was "politically savvy."

Last month, Amazon said that the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in its fulfillment centers was already more than $15 per hour.

Amazon median pay last year was $28,446, according to a company filing. That comes to $13.68 an hour. The company noted that the figure includes international and part-time employees.

The company also announced that it is increasing the minimum wage for UK employees starting November 1. The new minimum wage is £10.50 ($13.60) for the London area and £9.50 ($12.30) for the rest of the country. More than 37,000 employees, including seasonal workers, will be affected by the change.

The current UK minimum wage for adults over 25 is £7.83 ($10.15).

CNNMoney's Lydia DePillis contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

° wxIcon
Hi: ° Lo: °
Feels Like: °
Robinson
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 39°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 46°
Rockville
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 41°
Casey
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 45°
Marshall
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Clouds Move In
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 387687

Reported Deaths: 9838
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1788325439
DuPage23408608
Lake21010511
Will18807429
Kane17098348
Winnebago10463180
St. Clair8042221
Madison7264155
McHenry6545121
Champaign628529
Unassigned4784270
Peoria468073
McLean425536
Sangamon415163
Rock Island412892
Kankakee344480
Macon323453
Kendall274430
Tazewell273556
LaSalle247365
DeKalb243242
Coles197140
Adams193521
Boone190525
Williamson190561
Clinton181128
Vermilion178411
Jackson155026
Whiteside151428
Knox133119
Randolph129315
Ogle12367
Effingham12044
Marion105119
Stephenson10327
Franklin10059
Grundy9877
Morgan95624
Monroe93530
Bureau92516
Jefferson91149
Henry8627
Christian82929
Macoupin82411
Union79225
McDonough78020
Lee7542
Douglas7109
Shelby70212
Fayette68924
Livingston66210
Woodford66015
Crawford6536
Montgomery62516
Logan6074
Saline5739
Fulton5501
Jo Daviess5189
Warren5169
Bond5139
Iroquois50519
Wayne50213
Jersey47721
Cass46411
Perry45116
Moultrie4345
Carroll43012
Pike3677
Johnson3660
Lawrence3388
Richland33718
Washington3222
Clay31713
Mason3175
Hancock3144
Clark31217
Cumberland3026
Greene29515
Mercer2876
De Witt2726
White2704
Jasper26610
Piatt2570
Pulaski2451
Wabash2335
Ford20414
Menard1871
Marshall1613
Edgar15710
Massac1562
Alexander1321
Henderson1290
Hamilton1272
Brown1150
Edwards1110
Gallatin1082
Scott1070
Schuyler941
Putnam930
Stark883
Calhoun660
Hardin550
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 166564

Reported Deaths: 4194
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26255795
Lake14627362
St. Joseph9725171
Elkhart9402142
Allen8741232
Hamilton6462117
Vanderburgh622464
Tippecanoe402416
Porter355450
Hendricks3442137
Monroe337538
Johnson3307131
Delaware314475
Clark308565
Vigo280641
Madison254796
LaPorte241464
Cass230125
Kosciusko210329
Warrick206865
Floyd188468
Howard170166
Bartholomew149058
Marshall149028
Dubois147926
Wayne145533
Grant135440
Henry134330
Boone131050
Hancock125044
Noble124535
Jackson122519
Dearborn103828
Morgan100440
Lawrence99238
Gibson95612
Clinton93516
Daviess93236
Shelby91835
Knox83910
LaGrange82815
Harrison80724
Fayette79021
Putnam78317
DeKalb78111
Posey7787
Jasper7075
Miami6905
Steuben6748
Montgomery64422
White63016
Greene58138
Adams5777
Scott55916
Decatur53339
Whitley4926
Ripley4888
Wells47311
Clay4697
Sullivan46714
Starke4608
Wabash4599
Huntington4545
Orange42525
Spencer4236
Randolph42110
Fulton3956
Washington3923
Jennings38813
Franklin38325
Perry37714
Jefferson3655
Pike36318
Jay3486
Carroll34713
Fountain3393
Tipton28523
Vermillion2761
Parke2604
Rush2544
Blackford2425
Newton24011
Owen2171
Martin2040
Pulaski1794
Crawford1651
Brown1503
Ohio1367
Union1180
Benton1110
Switzerland990
Warren921
Unassigned0236