Will Amazon’s new $15 an hour minimum wage mess up rivals’ seasonal hiring plans?
Amazon.com announced this morning that it is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers, with those who are currently being paid that rate getting a boost, as well. In all, Amazon said 250,000 workers will benefit as a result of its pay hike including 100,000 people being hired to work at the company’s facilities for the Christmas season.
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Amazon’s move comes at a time of intense pressure for retailers and others to fill open positions. New research by Korn Ferry found that roughly two-thirds of retailers plan to hire as many or more seasonal workers for the holidays as they did last year, when 23 percent fell short of their hiring goals. With the national unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, retailers are offering more hours to current employees and in some cases attempting to attract new workers with higher wages and benefit perks.
“I guarantee you this issue has gotten bigger and bigger,” Craig Rowley, senior partner at Korn Ferry, told CNBC. “There are more jobs out there than there are people looking for them. … It’s a hustle to find the talent.”
For its part, Amazon promised to step up lobbying efforts to get Congress to pass legislation raising the national minimum wage.
“The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago,” said Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon global corporate affairs. “We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country.”
- Amazon Raises Minimum Wage to $15 for All U.S. Employees, Including Full-Time, Part-Time, Temporary, and Seasonal – Amazon.com
- Retailers tout big hiring plans this holiday season, but workers will be hard to find – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think will be the impact of Amazon’s decision to raise its minimum wage to $15 for its own competitive position and other retailers in the market?