In 2009, the federal minimum wage was increased to $7.25 per hour to adjust for the rising cost of living. Since 2009, inflation has deflated the value of $7.25, however the minimum wage remains unchanged. Fortunately, a number of states have passed their own laws to raise the minimum wage, and now, an influential company is following in their footsteps.
Amazon’s Minimum Wage
In October, Amazon announced that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour starting in November 2018. The pay increase will affect more than 250,000 full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. Seasonal workers that are hired for the busy holiday season will also benefit from this change.
Activists applauded Amazon’s decision to raise the minimum wage. Amazon was not the first company to raise its minimum wage—a number of its competitors increased their own minimum wages prior to Amazon’s announcement. However, Amazon made waves by choosing to significantly increase its minimum wage to $15, which is considered a reasonable living wage. Now, these activists hope that Amazon’s decision will inspire other major companies to follow suit.
Will Amazon Inspire Change?
Amazon is hoping to inspire others to adopt a higher minimum wage. In fact, an Amazon executive revealed that the company plans on working with federal lawmakers to raise the minimum wage for the entire country. According to research, the vast majority of Americans are in favor of raising the minimum wage to adjust for inflation. Since voters widely support this change, lawmakers may be receptive to Amazon’s suggestions.
Even if lawmakers will not get on board with Amazon’s plans, other retailers may have to hop on the bandwagon in order to stay competitive. Amazon’s decision to raise its minimum wage makes the company more attractive to potential employees, so competitors may have a harder time recruiting candidates to similar jobs that don’t pay as much.
It’s too early to tell whether or not Amazon’s decision to raise its minimum wage will have a major impact on workers outside of the organization. But so far, Amazon has succeeded in shining a spotlight on the issue of inadequate minimum wages.
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