Amazon raising minimum wage to $15 an hour for US workers

Amazon will be raising its minimum wage to $15 for all USA employees, the company said in an announcement Tuesday.

That could be good news for numerous Internet giant's workers across North Carolina. Overall, more than 250,000 Amazon workers will get a pay raise from this, in addition to more than 100,000 seasonal employees that the company hires at various times throughout the year. 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.

The $15 per hour wage will include all types of employee: full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary.

The new Amazon UK rate is also higher than the wage level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation of £8.75, or £10.20 in London. "The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs for the company. 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.

Competition among companies for qualified workers is growing more intense, and they are increasingly willing to pay. Target announced earlier this year it would raise its minimum wage to $12 an hour with a plan to lift it to $15 by 2020.

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The company's announcement comes just ahead of the holiday hiring season.

Employees of Whole Foods Market and all other Amazon subsidiaries are included in the wage increase.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said Tuesday that while Amazon's wage hike is a politically savvy move, it's also a change made out of economic necessity.

The company's new United Kingdom minimum wage exceeds a so-called London Living Wage of 10.20 pounds that some British businesses have adopted.

Amazon said it wants to convince lawmakers to boost the federal minimum wage.

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