Wage inflation on the agenda after Amazon gives workers a big raise


- Online retailer Amazon has announced on Tuesday that they are raising their minimum wage to $15 for all USA employees, including Full-Time, Part-Time, Temporary, and Seasonal.

That could be good news for numerous Internet giant's workers across North Carolina. The new wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, plus over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired for the holidays.

As Amazon's value approaches $1 trillion, the company has come under fire from employees as well as politicians and workers' rights groups for their low wages and poor working conditions, particularly within their fulfillment centers across the United States. Starting wages were lower, according to Amazon's own job postings, with job listings at more than 80 facilities so far this year indicating average starting pay of about $12.75 an hour, and as low as $10 an hour.

Bezos is the world's richest man by a large margin-he is worth around $165 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index-but previous year Amazon's median pay was just $28,446, which works out to around $14 an hour. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs. And some companies have responded to the public pressure.

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Despite its domination, it shares one potential hurdle that is growing higher for nearly all employers big and small: a tightening labor market. 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.

But corporate profits in the US are booming, and that wealth isn't being spread out almost fast enough for many.

Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012.

Amazon made the announcement on a company blog this morning. The increases will include 17,000 Amazon employees as well as 20,000 seasonal workers.