Amazon raises minimum wage to $18 as it struggles to attract some 125,000 staff

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Amazon has boosted it average starting wage for warehouse and transportation workers to $18 an hour as it scrambles to hire 125,000 new staff.

According to Reuters, Amazon is also offering welcome bonuses of up to $3000, some three times what it was offering four months ago as it struggles with the industry-wide recruitment crisis.

It comes as the retail, hospitality and logistics industries in both the US and UK struggle desperately to find staff, with vacancies in both markets recently hitting record highs.

Amazon was one of the first major retailers to impose a baseline pay of $15 per hour, double the US minimum wage of $7.25 (£5.20) an hour, but raised this to 17 per cent in May.

READ MORE: Amazon’s productivity quotas could soon be outlawed in the US

Its latest recruitment drive comes as Amazon gets poised to launch 100 new logistics facilities throughout the US this month, following the launch of 250 opened this year already.

New staff will also help the retail giant rollout its one-day delivery service for Amazon Prime members.

“It’s a tight labor market, and we’ve seen some of that as the entire industry is seeing,” Amazon’s vice president of deliver services Dave Bozeman said.

“The 125,000 (warehouse workers) is really to help us keep up with our growth”.

Bozeman added that a minority of the new hires would be to fill staff lost to “attrition”, which is understood to be an increasing issue for Amazon in wake of ongoing negative reports surrounding its warehouse working conditions, especially during the pandemic.

In a recent New York Times article, it was revealed that Amazon has a staff turnover rate in the US of 150 per cent.

The rate of staff turnover is so severe, that some executives are reportedly concerned Amazon will run out of eligible workers.

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