A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon Filling Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, April 30, 2019. Amazon has raised its average starting salary in the US to more than $ 18 per hour and plans to hire an additional 125,000 warehouses and transport workers. (Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters)
SEATTLE – Amazon has raised its average starting salary in the US to more than 18 dollars per hour and plans to hire another 125,000 warehousing and transportation workers, a head told Reuters.
The world’s largest online store has raised wages from an average of about $ 17 since May. In some places, the company offers signing bonuses of $ 3,000, says Dave Bozeman, vice president of Amazon Delivery Services, or three times what the company offered four months ago.
The fatter paycheck, first reported by Reuters, shows how large employers are desperate to lure workers into an increasingly tough US labor market. Fewer Americans are looking for unemployed claims just like openings has broken records in the resuming economy.
Bozeman attributed Amazon’s recent increase in compensation to fierce competition. Amazon did not give exact figures, but an increase of $ 1 on a salary of $ 17 per hour would amount to an increase of about 6%.
Amazon, now the second largest private employer in the United States, set a minimum wage of $ 15 per hour in 2018. Walmart recently graced the average hourly wage at $ 16.40, while Walgreens said it would raise its minimum to $ 15 in October.
“It’s a tight labor market, and we’ve seen some of what the whole industry sees,” said Bozeman, speaking in an interview at a delivery station in Tukwila, Washington.
He said Amazon would keep its base salary of $ 15 an hour. Benefits such as funding college education for workers and starting salaries as high as $ 22.50 in some areas separated the online store from peers, he said.
Amazon’s news, after logistics hired what was announced in May and company recruitment it was tested this month, follows a stretch of increased scrutiny of its working methods. A failed effort by some staff in Alabama this year to organize exhibited Amazon’s demanding warehouse work and aggressive union stance. After that battle, then-CEO Jeff Bezos said the company needed a better vision for its employees.
Andy Jassy, who succeeded Bezos, said in a CNBC interview aired on Tuesday that the United States should raise the federal minimum wage.
Amazon is hiring workers to operate 100 logistics facilities, which will be launched this month in the United States, in addition to more than 250 that opened earlier this year. Some workers will help with Amazon’s long work in launching a one – day delivery for Prime Loyalty Club members.
“The 125,000 (warehouse workers) are really there to help us keep pace with our growth,” said Bozeman, who added that only a minority of jobs would handle emissions. Amazon said it would fill the roles, which are full-time and part-time, as quickly as possible but did not offer a timeline.
The company’s external delivery partners aim to hire an additional 50,000 employees by the end of the year as well, says Amazon.
Nicole Bilich, human resources manager, said that competitive salary has taken in applicants to her warehouse in Stockton, California, which Amazon plans to launch in October. But hiring 2,200 people in three to four months is no easy task.
“The biggest challenge we have is really just the number of people we need,” she said.
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