Responding to critics, Amazon raises its minimum wage to $15

Employees who already make $15 an hour will also receive a raise, but Amazon didn't quantify it. Amazon said the additional expense of the wage increase will be incorporated into its earnings guidance, but it didn't detail those numbers in the blog post either.

That could be good news for numerous Internet giant's workers across North Carolina. That will include more than 250,000 full time employees and 100,000 seasonal workers.

Amazon is raising its minimum wage for all employees to $15, a bump that could have implications throughout the United States workforce. Starting wages were lower, according to Amazon's own job postings, with job listings at more than 80 facilities so far this year indicating average starting pay of about $12.75 an hour, and as low as $10 an hour. The median salary Amazon pays its workers is $28,446, well below other tech titans who mostly employ higher-paying software engineers.

"The pay increase puts Amazon ahead of the curve when it comes to providing its employee a living wage", D.A. Davidson analyst Thomas Forte said, adding that the move will help it to attract employees as it opens more brick-and-mortar retail stores.

"The current rate of $7.25 was set almost a decade ago", said Jay Carney, senior vice president of Amazon Global Corporate Affairs, in the statement.

Despite its domination, it shares one potential hurdle that is growing higher for nearly all employers big and small: a tightening labor market.

Competition among companies for qualified workers is growing more intense, and they are increasingly willing to pay. And in January Walmart raised its starting wages to $11 per hour.

Amazon, which became just the second company ever to cross $1 trillion in worth as company earlier this year, said it plans to push the federal government to increase the minimum.

Amazon made the announcement on a company blog this morning.

Amazon also raised its minimum wage in Britain to 10.50 pounds ($13.59) an hour for all employees in the London area and 9.50 pounds an hour for staff in all other parts of the country, effective from November 1.

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