Americans Are Lining Up to Work for Amazon for $15 an Hour

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Megalith

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Back in October, Amazon raised its minimum wage for US employees to $15 as a means of dousing criticism from politicians who insisted the company wasn’t paying its workers enough. The effect of that decision has been made clear in their fourth-quarter and full-year earnings report: job applications actually doubled, with “a record 850,000 work applications for hourly jobs in the US in October 2018,” which is “double its previous record for job applications received in a single month.”

As of Dec. 31, Amazon had 647,500 full- and part-time employees, up 14% from the same period a year earlier. Analysts had worried Amazon’s wage increase would cut into its profits. So far that doesn’t seem to be the case. Amazon reported $3 billion in profit for the fourth quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.8 billion among analysts tracked by FactSet. Amazon unveiled its wage increase just in time for the holiday rush, putting pressure on other companies looking to hire in an already tight labor market.
 

GlowingGhoul

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Lazy logic. Of course higher wages cut into profit. Lower wages would've meant an ever higher profit.

With the incredibly good job market right now another economic dynamic is taking place, supply and demand. More jobs chasing fewer available workers=higher wages.

That's the reason mega-corps push for more immigration, to increase the pool of labor and reduce the upward pressure on wages.
 
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nutzo

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Amazon's minimum wage work is just solitary, tough physical labor.

Working at McDonald's, well... have you ever accidentally put lettuce on a fat man's hamburger?

Worse jobs were cleaning up after the place closed or working the fryers. I always had a few burns on my hands from splattering grease.
(I didn't work at McDonalds, but did work at another fast food place in college and started at $3 hour)
 

copy_run_start

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Worse jobs were cleaning up after the place closed or working the fryers. I always had a few burns on my hands from splattering grease.
(I didn't work at McDonalds, but did work at another fast food place in college and started at $3 hour)


Oh yeah definitely. I did food service too ($5/hr), where a customer almost fought a cashier because we were out of hot wings.

If I had to choose between that and running around fetching dildos and USB chargers for people on my own, tough choice tbh
 
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They had workers at the wages before, raising those only increases supply for the positions, so that means those applying before with minimal to no experience will not be getting hired, it will be the newer higher qualified workers, as it's shown time and time again in every market this has taken place, where it makes it harder and harder for those entering the job market to find a job. It doesn't raise the wages of the same class, it just moves the people being hired into those with more experience who are already valued at those wages.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Heard Amazon works you like dogs and are dicks about breaks and lunch times.
Besides, how many years til you'll be replaced with a robot?

I know that if I had to make that choice, I would work for McDonald's...

For the entertainment of watching people channel their inner chimp!? lol
WARNING HARSH-ISH LANGUAGE
 

tetris42

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Lazy logic. Of course higher wages cut into profit. Lower wages would've meant an ever higher profit.

With the incredibly good job market right now another economic dynamic is taking place, supply and demand. More jobs chasing fewer available workers=higher wages.

That's the reason mega-corps push for more immigration, to increase the pool of labor and reduce the upward pressure on wages.
Agreed on the last part, but in this particular case, it's not a matter of jobs getting more competitive, it happened the same time the "stop Bezos" bill was being floated in congress that would have required this anyway.

Amazon managed to pull evil genius shit with this though, by raising their minimum wages and getting ahead of the bill, but also while simultaneously removing stock options for a ton of their employees, which due to the company's increasing value actually cost them more. They would have gotten a lot of bad PR if they simply did that by itself, but since they tied it with $15 hour wages, they come out looking like heroes to the general public all while SAVING money by paying out less in stock options. It's a very calculated move what they did here.
 

JackNSally

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They brought up wages at whole foods also. Also everyone was given raises that already made more than $15. At least for my daughter in the L.A. area.
 

GlowingGhoul

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Says more about the country that people are lining up for what are effectively minimum wage jobs.

But oh yeah, the unemployment rate... blah blah blah.

I'm trying to understand what you're saying. All the stats clearly indicate an excellent job market. Employers are complaining about not finding enough qualified workers. Are you saying it's not true, the job market sucks, wages are not rising? Seriously, I'd like to know what you're basing this dim view of "the country" on, because it doesn't sound like it's based on anything but a few likely unskilled people, lining up for $30k/year jobs with benefits.
 

GlowingGhoul

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Geezus. Fast food line work was a part time job for students and retirees for most of my life. Now people expect it to pay as if this was skilled, career work. You can be completely illiterate and unskilled, and still do the job. Guess what, unskilled work should to be the lowest paying, since anyone can do it.
 

dvsman

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Here's the thing though. You can replace the counter man and even the cook at a fast food restaurant with robots but you will always need someone to clean everything out. No way a robot can get into all those nooks and crannies ... at least not yet.
 

Tsumi

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Should just be simple economics. If lots of qualified people are applying for the job, wages should go down. If not enough qualified people apply for it, wages go up. Key word here is qualified, not total number of applicants.
 

SilverSliver

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Geezus. Fast food line work was a part time job for students and retirees for most of my life. Now people expect it to pay as if this was skilled, career work. You can be completely illiterate and unskilled, and still do the job. Guess what, unskilled work should to be the lowest paying, since anyone can do it.

Muh livable wage! I need to be able to buy a new house, a new car, and raise three kids on unskilled entry level jobs!

edit -- in San Francisco!
 
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DPI

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Says more about the country that people are lining up for what are effectively minimum wage jobs.

But oh yeah, the unemployment rate... blah blah blah.

Saddest part of the "lowest unemployment rate" bullshit is that it only decreased because they gamed the counting criteria. Example, now if someone is unemployed long enough, beyond a certain point they stop being counted as unemployed.
 

Nolan7689

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I'm trying to understand what you're saying. All the stats clearly indicate an excellent job market. Employers are complaining about not finding enough qualified workers. Are you saying it's not true, the job market sucks, wages are not rising? Seriously, I'd like to know what you're basing this dim view of "the country" on, because it doesn't sound like it's based on anything but a few likely unskilled people, lining up for $30k/year jobs with benefits.

Good bets place the current economic upswing at a point of being about to burst and swing back down. Which is a semi common thing, ups and downs of the markets.

There is a shortage of skilled workers though in the various trades. The last few years work has been very good with lots of new construction and jobs that just can’t be manned due to the existing manpower not being enough.

Regardless of that. Cost of living in general has been going up so higher wages make sense for all of the jobs. And when one unskilled industry does it, well the rest need to follow or their work force can and will seek greener pastures.


Definitely a calculated move by amazon though. I recall the articles about them axing stock options with this (though cash in hand vs promise of cash in stock is an easy choice for many), it also effectively silenced any rumblings of unionization in their workforce. Why go through that effort when once again, you’ve now got the cash in hand.
 

SilverSliver

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Saddest part of the "lowest unemployment rate" bullshit is that it only decreased because they gamed the counting criteria. Example, now if someone is unemployed long enough, beyond a certain point they stop being counted as unemployed.

The counting criteria was gamed during the Obama years to make unemployment not look as bad as it really was. They are still using the same methodology. Not saying it's not misleading, because it is.
 

GlowingGhoul

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Saddest part of the "lowest unemployment rate" bullshit is that it only decreased because they gamed the counting criteria. Example, now if someone is unemployed long enough, beyond a certain point they stop being counted as unemployed.

As SilverSliver said, they stopped counting 'discouraged workers' in the unemployment rate under Obama. Now, with workers moving back into the labor market, it makes the the unemployment rate look HIGHER than it would've been under the old system.

It's kind of frightening that despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, you've been convinced the economy sucks because you hate the guy in the White House.
 
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Working fast food is not a cushy job.

I worked in an aluminum mill to pay for a private high school education, die ovens at 400degrees and such, and when it came to college every summer I worked there and as a closer at McDonald's it was easily hands down the worst job I ever worked, I'd rather a steel/aluminum mill, dealing with customers can be unpleasant, metal doesn't talk back and although dirty, food grease is disgusting.
 

steakman1971

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I worked at a drug store when I was in high school - I made $3.45 an hour (and .10 cents went to union dues - no choice). I hated working the cash register - it was awful as a lot of people are jerks. The jobs I didn't mind: stocking shelves, mopping floors, cleaning restrooms - less interaction with people. It wasn't that hard. (Although one time I was trying to figure out how someone crapped on the ceiling...there was a line going up the wall peaking at the ceiling.) I suited up in a plastic suit and cleaned it up. It was a shitty job that day :)
 

Dekoth-E-

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Must have never worked fastfood or you wouldn't be saying this ever. lf you've ever closed up at 2am and had to clean the fryers you wouldn't be complaining over $15 for fastfood workers.

I have, fastfood is a hell of a lot easier than a warehouse job. Sure it is demeaning and you put up with the occasional asshole, but it isn't hard on any level.
 

percydaman

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I don't believe for a second that Amazon won't find ways to get those profits back.
 

bbvdd2

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Sad that so many people are "lining up" for an UNSKILLED job. This says a lot about the state of our nation that so many people are uneducated or just want to do as little as possible.
 

seanreisk

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I worked as a bartender (at a free-pour liquor bar, not a beer pub) to put myself through college, and I thought I was a genius for prepping myself to have a stylish night job with good tips.

Then, before I graduated, I spent a year at a high security clearance military installation, and spent my evenings driving pizza for Dominos. And found out that driving pizza pays same, has reasonable tips, and is kind of mellow. When I got back to college I stayed with the pizza gig.

I know a woman who was a dental assistant who now runs a day care because she likes it better. Who knows? If I was Amazon, I'd give the warehouse employees lessons on rollerblading and free foreign language training audio books. Yeah, you'd have more accidents, but you would have a great pool of people for the company field hockey team.

Employer and employee attitudes are the biggest reason work is a drag.
 
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