Amazon to raise pay for more than 500,000 workers

Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to give more than 500,000 of its workers a raise as it seeks to attract new workers

NEW YORK — Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to give more than 500,000 of its workers a raise as it seeks to attract new workers.

The online shopping giant, which already pays new hires at least $15 an hour, said it will start increasing pay between 50 cents an hour to $3 an hour starting next month.

Amazon said the pay raise is part of its push to hire more workers. The company has needed more people to get orders to shoppers during the pandemic as Americans increasingly shop online. It hired 500,000 people in 2020 alone, bringing its total workforce to nearly 1.3 million people worldwide.

The pay announcement also comes after a failed union push at a Alabama warehouse, which put a national spotlight on working conditions at Amazon. Pro-union workers and organizers in Alabama said they wanted better pay and more breaks in their 10-hour shifts.

Other retailers have been boosting pay, too. Costco, for example, recently raised its minimum wage to $16 an hour. And Target recently raised its starting pay to $15 an hour.

Seattle-based Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the U.S. behind retail rival Walmart.

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