| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Amazon hikes starting pay to $18 an hour

According to a Reuters report, Inc has raised its average starting wage in the United States to more than $18 an hour and aims to add another 125,000 warehouse and transportation workers.

Since May, the world’s largest online retailer has increased wages from roughly $17. According to Dave Bozeman, vice president of Amazon Delivery Services, the business is offering $3,000 signing bonuses in some regions, which is triple what the company gave four months ago.

The larger payout demonstrates how big businesses are seeking to attract workers in an increasingly tight labor market in the United States. Fewer Americans are filing for unemployment benefits at a time when job opportunities are at an all-time high in the recovering economy.

Amazon’s newest pay raise, according to Bozeman, is due to increased competition. Amazon did not provide specific percentages, but a $1 raise on a $17-per-hour wage would equate to a 6% increase.

In 2018, Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, established a $15-per-hour minimum wage. Walmart Inc recently boasted $16.40 average hourly wages, while Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said that its minimum wage would be raised to $15 in October.

“It’s a tight labor market, and we’ve seen some of that as the entire industry is seeing,” explained Bozeman, who spoke in an interview at a delivery station in Tukwila, Washington.

He said that Amazon would maintain its $15 an hour base pay. Benefits like funding college tuition for workers and starting wages as high as $22.50 in some areas distinguished the online retailer from peers, he said.

Amazon is hiring workers to help run 100 logistics facilities launching this month in the United States, on top of more than 250 that opened earlier this year. Some workers will aid in Amazon’s long-in-the-works effort to roll out one-day delivery for Prime loyalty club members.

“The 125,000 (warehouse workers) is really to help us keep up with our growth,” said Bozeman, who added that only a minority of jobs were to address attrition. Amazon said it would fill the roles, which are full and part-time, as quickly as possible but did not offer a timeline.

Nicole Bilich, a human resources manager, said competitive pay has brought in applicants for her Stockton, California warehouse, which Amazon plans to launch in October. But hiring 2,200 people in three to four months is no simple matter.

“The biggest challenge we have is really just the numbers of people we need,” she said.

Earlier this month Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told Reuters the company would recruit for over 55,000 tech and corporate jobs globally.

  • Reuters