Minimum wage job can represent a low wage trap - ESRI

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The wage hike for Amazon and Whole Foods American workers comes just before the holidays when both companies are likely to need more workers.

While Amazon's new minimum wage pushes the annual earnings figure to $31,200, the rate is still short of a figure revealed in a June report on Utah housing affordability that noted the minimum wage for a full-time worker to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake City is $18.85 per hour.

Amazon said it plans to hire more than 100,000 holiday workers, who will pack and ship boxes in its more than 100 warehouses around the country. Amazon's hourly operations and customer service employees, some who already make $15 per hour, will also see a wage increase, the Seattle-based company said.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead", Bezos said in a statement. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us".

In a 2015 article in The New York Times, employees described a "soulless, dystopian" work environment of long hours and and a lack of empathy for employees' health-related issues. The senator routinely points out the extent of Bezos' personal fortune while criticizing conditions for company employees.

Critics of minimum wage increases often argue that boosting worker pay can backfire, causing employers to hire fewer workers or cut employee hours.

Last month, Sanders unveiled a Senate bill called the "Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies" Act, or "Stop BEZOS Act".

"It could well be, and I think it will be, a shot heard round the world", Sanders said in remarks at the US Capitol.

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But the Canadian prime minister insists that he remains committed to the talks - and the prospect of a breakthrough. According to those present, Craft described the Canadian ambassador as "articulate" and "smart".

The raise, announced Tuesday, covers all Amazon employees, including those at Whole Foods Market, which the company bought past year.

"It was clear to us that the $7.25 was too low for the federal minimum wage, and so we chose to throw our support behind increasing that", Clark said. Walmart is now the largest private employer in the nation, with a workforce topping 1.5 million employees. Last month it became the country's second publicly traded company to be valued at more than $1 trillion.

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.

"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", Jay Carney, Amazon's head of global corporate affairs, said in the statement.

Historically, large companies have been a driving factor in pushing up the minimum wage, Steinbaum said. Many business groups and conservatives argue that $15 an hour is too high, especially in places outside urban centers that have a lower cost of living.

In addition to seasonal workers, the new minimum wage also will apply to all temporary and part-time employees, including those hired by agencies, and to workers at the high-end grocery store chain Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired previous year, the company said. His Twitter account, which has almost 9 million followers, frequently points out the disparity between Amazon's median employee pay and the vast fortune of CEO Jeff Bezos.

Other companies also have moved to raise wages, particularly in this tight labor market.

Jeff Bezos on Tuesday announced plans to raise Amazon's minimum wage to $15 an hour. And in January Walmart raised its starting wages to $11 per hour.

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