Amazon takes on the minimum wage debate

David Blake
October 02, 2018 - 1:48 pm

Cheryl Makin/Staff Photo/USA TODAY

Amazon says its public policy team will start pushing for an increase in the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Amazon is boosting its minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $15 per hour starting next month. 

LSU economist Dr. Robert Newman says he's not sure the retail giant should be pushing other companies into something they might not be able to afford.

"That doesn't mean they should impose that on every other firm in the United States,'' Newman said.

Newman believes this trend could end up costing workers their jobs.

"There's the incentive that firms will actually have to move to fewer workers," said Newman. "Take the evidence that McDonalds is installing kiosks in their franchises," as opposed to employees taking orders.

The company said its wage hike will benefit more than 350,000 workers, which includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal positions. It also includes Whole Foods employees.  

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