Starting next month Amazon will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour for U.S. employees. The company said the wage will benefit 250,000 full-time and 100,000 seasonal employees, and some workers who already make $15 will see increases too.
"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead," said founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a blog post on the company's website. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."
Currently, starting pay for Amazon workers varies by location: At a warehouse in Austin, Texas, it's just $10 an hour. The median annual wage among all Amazon employees last year was just $28,446.
"That's, like, less than a teacher makes," comedian Sarah Silverman joked on a recent segment of her late-night talk show "I Love You, America," which aired prior to Amazon's announcement. It's also a sharp contrast from what their boss brings in. Bezos, the richest person in the world, makes more than his median employee in 10 seconds and has an estimated net worth of $163 billion, according to Forbes.