Amazon's Orlando workers among those set for $15 minimum wage announced today

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According to Amazon's most recent year-end report, the company employed 566,000 employees, not counting employees at subsidiary companies.

Amazon workers in the United States now make around $US11 an hour That will jump to $US15 next month.

The Seattle-based company said the move, which goes into effect November 1, is aimed at boosting its minimum wage at least 30 percent higher than the national average. The labour market is also tightening as the U.S. heads into the holiday season, which could naturally inflate wages. It will climb to $13 in July 2019. The mean hourly wage for non-management workers in transportation and warehousing is $21.94.

The wage hike also comes at a time Amazon needs to hire holiday workers amid the tightest job market in almost two decades, making it more hard to lure workers who have a lot more job choices than just a year ago. Last month, Sanders introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act, or Stop BEZOS, which would levy a tax on large companies equal to the value of the public benefits that their workers receive. And in August, nonprofit outlet The New Food Economy reported that thousands of Amazon employees in the US -including one-third of the company's Arizona workers-were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

Supporters say it's a remedy for widening wage inequality and will boost consumer spending, while opponents counter that it could reduce opportunities for employment, particularly for teenagers and others looking for entry level or low-skilled jobs. The unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent, near an 18-year low. At the time, Bezos said the story "doesn't describe the Amazon I know". While their role in USA culture might be large, their share of the labor market is still fairly small. Those increases apply to 17,000 Amazon employees and 20,000 seasonal workers.

"Jeff Bezos has become much more wealthy over the past decade, but his workers haven't", she said.

Amazon has faced political and economic pressure to raise pay for thousands of employees.

The e-commerce behemoth has been hit by lawsuits in recent years alleging that it has used contract employees to skirt regulations and cut costs in the US and overseas.

"The pay increase puts Amazon ahead of the curve when it comes to providing its employee a living wage", D.A. Davidson analyst Thomas Forte said, adding that the move will help it to attract employees as it opens more brick-and-mortar retail stores.

The announcement was enough to soothe one of Amazon's fiercest critics: Sen. The bill, which had no chance of passing and was created to draw attention to Sanders' Amazon criticism, would tax large companies for every dollar their workers receive in safety net benefits like food stamps. "And that is that Mr. Bezos today did the right thing".

Those gains came in the same year that a number of Amazon's employees were found to be relying on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP - which until recently was commonly called food stamps.

It's not the first time a major US corporation has boosted its minimum wage, Allegretto added.

The e-commerce giant has long described its pay as competitive with other retailers.

Target said that it has seen a better pool of applicants after its moves to hike hourly pay.

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