Amazon applauds the authors and co-sponsors of the Raise the Wage Act, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott, for unveiling legislation today that will have a positive impact on millions of Americans and their families. This bill would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage, bringing it to $15 an hour by 2025. President Biden has made clear his support for an increase in the minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Passing the Raise the Wage Act would increase incomes for millions of employees and revitalize the national economy.
In 2018, Amazon announced a starting wage of at least $15 an hour for all of Amazon’s full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees across the U.S.—in addition to the comprehensive healthcare, paid leave and upskilling benefits that begin on day one. In most parts of the country, Amazon’s starting wage is even higher than $15 an hour, and many of our hourly employees make more. In 2020, we created more than 275,000 new jobs across the U.S. and currently provide over 800,000 Americans with industry-leading pay and benefits. We believe $15 an hour is the minimum anyone in the U.S. should be paid for an hour of labor. We also believe it’s good for business.
Once we increased our starting wage to $15 an hour, the positive impact on employee morale and retention—and the surge in job applicants—was immediate. In fact, the month after we raised our starting wage, applications for hourly positions more than doubled. Employees who saw their paychecks increase told us that they had an easier time providing for their families and were able to spend on things like car repairs and home improvement projects. In short, the investments we made in our hourly employees were quickly transferred to local businesses and economies. And the ripple effect didn’t stop there. We were thrilled when several other major companies—including Target, Best Buy, and Costco—also increased wages to at least $15 an hour for their employees. We are hopeful that more follow suit.
During the last congressional session, Amazon advocated for the previous version of the Raise the Wage Act, which passed in the House but stalled in the Senate. We will continue our advocacy this Congress. Our hope is that—with new support from the White House and committed leadership from the bill’s authors and cosponsors—this legislation will quickly advance to the president’s desk and be signed into law. As we take steps to recover from the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s workers in need of a raise, small businesses that will benefit from increased spending and the country’s broader economic recovery simply can’t wait.