U.S. retail giant Amazon announced Tuesday morning that it will add 125,000 warehouse logistics jobs across the U.S. and raise its average starting hourly wage to $18.
Amazon said the adjusted average starting salary for warehouse logistics workers will be between $18 and $22.5, with some warehouses offering a $3,000 signing bonus. The company also offers a variety of benefits and vocational training programs equivalent to $3.50 an hour.
The high demand for jobs also demonstrates the retail giant's determination to consolidate its competitive advantage during the outbreak. Amazon will open 250 new distribution centers, sorting centers, regional hubs and distribution stations in the U.S. in 2021, bringing the number of logistics facilities in operation to 100 in September alone. Amazon has employed 450,000 people in the U.S. since the outbreak began, making it the nation's largest source of new jobs.
The huge labor gap in the retail industry, combined with the "job shortage" that has not improved in the United States in recent days, eventually evolved into a rising price competition among retail giants. Amazon, for example, has just raised its minimum hourly wage to $15 in 2018, but raised it to $17 in May, only to raise it again in the past four months.
The reason for the e-commerce giant's back-to-back pay hikes has been driven by competitors, with U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart announcing a pay rise of 565,000 front-line workers in early September, bringing its average hourly wage to $16.40 after a pay rise of at least $1 an hour. Walgreens has also announced an increase in the minimum wage to $15 a hour from October.
Dave Bozeman, vice president of Amazon Express Services, told the media that the labor market is still tight and what we're seeing is the problem facing the industry as a whole.