Amazon is upping its pay for its front-line workers ahead of the holiday season.
The e-commerce giant on Thursday announced that average starting salaries for employees in fulfillment and transportation would increase from $18 to more than $19 per hour, marking an almost $1 billion investment over the next year. Depending on their position and location, employees can now earn between $16 and $26 per hour.
“Continuing to invest in pay, providing easy access to earned wages at any time during the month, and offering great benefits and career advancement opportunities are all part of our long-term efforts to be the best employer in the world,” said John Felton, Amazon’s SVP of worldwide operations.
Amazon is also rolling out Anytime Pay, a new program that allows employees to receive up to 70% of their earned pay at any day in the month with no fees.
The e-tailer is launching new career development programs that build on the company’s free college tuition program for hourly employees, in pursuit of a goal to create career advancement opportunities for 300,000 employees through 2025. The company has rolled out a career advancement program to train engineers within Amazon Web Services. Amazon’s education and skill-learning program, Career Choice, currently has more than 90,000 employee participants and more than 260 education partners, Amazon said.
According to Amazon, the company has invested almost $10 billion in its employees this year.
Earlier this week, Amazon said it would launch a two-day global shopping event exclusive to Prime members on Oct. 11-12. Called the “Prime Early Access Sale,” the new 48-hour event gives Prime members in 15 countries exclusive early access to holiday deals.
The new holiday follows the success of Amazon’s Prime Day shopping event. This year, Prime members purchased more than 300 million items worldwide during Prime Day 2022, up from roughly 250 million in 2021, according to data released by Amazon in July. According to the e-commerce giant, this year’s event was the biggest Prime Day event in the company’s history.
In July, Amazon reported that sales for the second quarter grew 7% to $121.23 billion, which was higher than Wall Street’s expected $119.09 billion. It represented Amazon’s third straight quarter of single-digit annual revenue growth.