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article imageAmazon's minimum wage hike to 15 dollars per hour may boost sales

By Ken Hanly     Oct 2, 2018 in Business
Amazon will raise the wages of over 250,000 minimum wage employees to $15 an hour. This is more than twice the present federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The wage hike goes into effect on November 1.
Walmart's wage hike resulted in increased sales
In February of 2016 Walmart raised its minimum wage to ten dollars an hour for more than a million employees. While this is nowhere near the jump that Amazon wages are taking, it seems to have helped boost sales.
Walmart CEO Greg Foran claimed that the raise allowed more employees to purchase more items at their stores. Since the increase, wages have been raised another dollar an hour. Foran told reporters who asked if sales were better than expected: "The simple answer is yes, we are seeing improved associate purchasing in our stores. Associates are feeling more engaged."
The Walmart raise was discussed in a recent Business Insider story.
Raise may help Amazon sales during crucial holiday season
Both Amazon and Walmart have been criticized for treatment of their employees and for poor working conditions.Senator Bernie Sanders who has been a strong critic of Amazon praised the company's move. Critics had pointed out that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a net worth of $150 billion while paying his workers the minimum wage. The big salary boost may help sales, about half of which were in the holiday season last year.
While it is not certain if the Amazon sales will rise as a result of the wage boost, it seems likely as there will be 250,000 more employees with more money in their pocket just before Christmas.
Raise at Costco also boosted sales
Costco is another company that raised its minimum wage earlier this year, up to $14 an hour. The company has also seen an increase in sales.
Any increase in sales will likely help offset any possible decrease in profits due to the wage increases. It could be a win-win situation for both Amazon and its employees. However, poor working conditions remain a problem needing to be solved.
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