The Latest: Kudlow says rising wages not inflationary
SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a pay raise more than 350,000 workers at Amazon.com (all times local):
The chief economic adviser in the White House said more people working and prospering is not inflationary in response to massive pay raises announced by Amazon.
Larry Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council, said he’s in favor of higher wages and said, “Good for them,” in reference to the pay hike announced Tuesday by the Seattle company.
Amazon is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month and it will raise pay for employees who make more than that already. The pay increases will benefit more than 350,000 people.
Kudlow was referring to “wage push” inflation, when the cost of goods increase as employers raise prices to pay workers more.
Long a critic of Amazon.com over its pay practices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is lauding the company for raises that will reach hundreds of thousands of workers.
On Tuesday, Sanders said it’s time to “give credit where credit is due.”
Amazon is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month, and it will raise pay for employees who make more than that.
Sanders congratulated Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for doing, “exactly the right thing.”
He is also praising a vow Tuesday by the Seattle company to become an advocate for raising the federally mandated minimum wage, which now stands at $7.25.
Amazon.com shares are little changed after the company said it is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month.
Amazon has been among the best performers in the S&P 500 this year, with a gain of about 70 percent, compared with a gain of 9 percent for the S&P.
The company is the second-most valuable in the index after Apple Inc., and its market value briefly reached $1 trillion on Sept. 4.
As of 10:XX a.m. Tuesday, Amazon shares were down $7.08, or 0.4 percent, at $1,997.28.
Amazon’s decision to boost wages comes as corporate profits are booming in the U.S. Amazon earned $2.53 billion in the second quarter.
Amazon says its public policy team will start pushing for an increase in the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs, says Amazon will advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across the country.
Amazon is also increasing wages in some areas outside the U.S. The company announced that the minimum wage will be 10.50 pounds an hour in London and 9.50 pounds in other parts of the UK. The increases will include 17,000 Amazon employees as well as 20,000 seasonal workers.
Amazon is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month.
The company said Tuesday that the wage hike will benefit more than 350,000 workers, which includes full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal positions. It includes Whole Foods employees. 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.
Amazon has more than 575,000 employees globally.
Pay for workers at Amazon can vary by location. Its starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The median pay for an Amazon employee last year was $28,446, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.