Amazon raised warehouse wages to $15 an hour 5 years in the past. Today, half of staff surveyed instructed researchers they wrestle to afford meals or lease

May 16, 2024 | blog

Five years after Inc. raised wages to $15 an hour, half of warehouse staff surveyed by researchers say they wrestle to afford sufficient meals or a spot to stay.

The nationwide examine, revealed Wednesday by the University of Illinois Chicago’s Center for Urban Economic Development, requested US workers about their financial wellbeing, together with whether or not they’d skipped meals, went hungry, or have been frightened about having the ability to make lease or mortgage funds.

Fifty-three p.c of respondents reported that they’d skilled a number of types of meals insecurity within the prior three months, and 48% skilled a number of types of housing insecurity. Workers who mentioned they took unpaid time without work after getting damage on the job have been extra more likely to report hassle paying their payments, the researchers discovered. 

“It’s not necessarily that Amazon’s an outlier,” mentioned Sanjay Pinto, who co-authored the examine with Beth Gutelius. Still, “they’re certainly not taking the lead in creating family-sustaining jobs.” 

In an emailed assertion, Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly referred to as the researchers’ methodology “deeply flawed” and mentioned the corporate had tried to boost its issues with the examine’s authors however by no means heard again. 

“It’s a survey that ignores best practices for surveying, has limited verification safeguards to confirm respondents are Amazon employees, and doesn’t prevent multiple responses from the same person,” he mentioned. Kelly added that Amazon has elevated common pay to $20.50 an hour and offers a spread of advantages, together with well being care, dental, 401(okay) and pre-paid tuition.

Amazon has lengthy been criticized for its therapy of workers, particularly those that pack and ship bins in its warehouses. Much of the criticism has targeted on accidents which have exceeded the speed of logistics trade friends. Amazon has pledged to make its warehouses safer, partly by automating points of the job that require repetitive motions. Pinto and Gutelius examined accidents amongst Amazon’s ranks in a report revealed in October earlier than turning their focus to staff’ financial circumstances.

The Seattle-based firm is the second-largest private-sector employer within the US behind Walmart Inc. Amazon accounts for about 29% of the US warehousing trade workforce, the researchers estimate. As such, the corporate performs a number one function in setting pay and dealing circumstances of a sector reworked by e-commerce. 

The 98-question on-line survey sought out Amazon workers by social media promoting, concentrating on warehouses and neighborhoods that host firm amenities. The researchers additionally sprinkled in high quality checks to weed out responses from individuals who gave the impression to be giving inauthentic responses. 

A complete of 1,484 staff in 42 states gave sufficient info to be included within the outcomes. For the parts coping with financial safety, the pattern dimension different between 1,306 and 1,472 respondents. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 share factors. The work was funded by the Ford Foundation, Oxfam America and the pro-labor nonprofit National Employment Law Project. 

A 3rd of survey respondents reported utilizing government-funded packages – primarily meals stamps or Medicaid – within the final three months. That echoes a 2020 evaluation by the US Government Accountability Office, which discovered Amazon was among the many largest employers of individuals receiving meals help in 9 states that reported the info.  

Amazon’s median US worker was paid $45,613 in 2023, up from $41,762 the yr earlier than, the corporate mentioned in a submitting final month. The firm says workers in warehousing and transportation are paid greater than $20.50 an hour, on common. The survey, which was carried out between April and August 2023, excluded managers and skews a bit decrease: Most respondents reported wages from $16 to $20 an hour. 

Some 65% of staff who come to Amazon earn greater than they have been making at their earlier employer, the survey exhibits. And the identical share of staff report receiving a increase whereas working on the firm. Moving up the ranks in Amazon’s assembly-line like warehouses is a more durable proposition: Just 13% of staff reported receiving a promotion throughout their time on the firm, survey information confirmed. 

Respondents who joined Amazon from one other firm have been most definitely to have beforehand labored in meals preparation and providers, gross sales and manufacturing.

“The story of Amazon is a sad story of the declining expectations of American workers of their employer,” mentioned examine co-author Gutelius, a longtime researcher of logistics and warehouse work.  

MoneyMaker FX EA Trading Robot

powered by