Amazon's Wages Rise, While U.S. Lags Behind

Amazon recently announced that they would raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour for full time and seasonal workers. This move is set to impact roughly 350,000 full time and seasonal workers in the U.S. Workers receiving the hike will no longer be eligible for monthly bonuses and stock awards as a result. 

Senator Bernie Sanders put forth legislation last month that would tax companies like Amazon for every employee that had to live on public assistance despite working full time. Amazon has long been criticized for its treatment of warehouse workers and delivery drivers in the past. 

Currently the U.S. federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour. Minimum wages vary by state, with 18 states set to raise their minimum wages this year to put them on track to hit a $15 minimum wage. 

Compared to other countries, in the United States the ratio of yearly income on a minimum wage salary to the median yearly income of the country is below other wealthy countries. The below chart shows that a $15 minimum wage, implemented by Amazon, puts the company on par with countries like Germany and Canada for yearly earnings on a minimum wage salary compared to the overall median wage of the country, according to data from the OECD.

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