Amazon Announces Plan to Raise Minimum Wage for U.S. Workers

Early October, Amazon shared its plans to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour for its United States employees, starting Nov. 1. The New York Times described the decision as “a rare acknowledgement that it was feeling squeezed by political pressure and a tight labor market.” Amazon also said it would lobby in Washington to raise the federal minimum wage, which has held at $7.25 for nearly a decade.

According to reports, this raise applies for part-time workers hired through temporary agencies. This includes more than 250,000 Amazon employees, those that work at grocery chain Whole Foods, and the more than 100,000 seasonal employees it plans to hire for the holiday season.

The issue of paying workers has become a hot topic for activists, especially when the fortunes of Amazon and Mr. Bezos continue to rapidly increase. Amazon’s market capitalization passed $1 trillion in September. Meanwhile Mr. Bezos has become the richest person in the world with a net worth of $165 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”

The Low Unemployment Issue

Giants like Amazon are not the only ones struggling to recruit and retain employees and keep up with the pressure to raise wages. Small businesses are also having a difficult time filling positions. Federal data shows that the smaller supply of prospective workers has slowly been pushing wages higher, with the average wage for retail sales workers across the U.S. is sitting at $13.20 an hour. If you include all retail workers – salespeople, cashiers and supervisors – the average wage is $18.85.

Since the Great Recession, finding small business funding has been a big issue. The pressure to raise wages and the shrinking supply of workers have only complicated things for small business owners.If finding additional working capital has been a challenge for your business, consider applying for a merchant cash advance. This funding option provides a flexible solution that will boost your business’ cash flow, cover day-to-day costs and allow you to add to your team.

Author Bio:As the FAM account executive, Michael Hollis has funded millions by using merchant cash advance solutions. His experience and extensive knowledge of the industry has made him financeexpert at First American Merchant.