Economy, Amazon

Amazon lifting the working class with higher wages, new 'factory towns'

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9/18/2021 1:06:00 PM

From an $18 hourly wage to the 'new factory town,' Amazon is taking the lead on lifting up America's working class

Insider tells the global tech, finance, markets, media, healthcare, and strategy stories you want to know.

.That bounce is set to repeat itself, with Amazon's latest hiring boom touting an average starting wage of $18. While Democratsfailed earlier this year to lift the minimum wagefor the first time in 20 years, Amazon's expansion is shifting the de-facto floor above the party's $15 target.

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"I don't think people appreciate the extent to which Amazon puts a wage floor in a community," Tum Duy, chief economist at SGH Macro Advisors, wrote in a Tuesday."It's the first thing employers think about when a new Amazon facility arrives in town."

Building the next-generation 'factory town'By dramatically expanding its footprint, Amazon could form a new kind of"factory town" that would further lift the country's working class, as Conor Sen, an economics columnist at Bloomberg,

wrote Thursday."Maybe these highway warehouse communities with jobs that pay increasingly respectable wages are what the future of the working class looks like."The phrase"factory town" recalls those that dot Michigan, connected to automotive giants Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, which molded the state in the early 1900s as their factories became economic hubs and birthed new cities. Where the industrial titans brought jobs, workers and other businesses followed. Amazon's huge warehouse plans offer a 21st-century parallel.

Data shows Amazon hubs already powering stronger economic growth. In Amazon's top 10 metro areas, job creation averaged -0.4% in the three years before the company's entry,CNBCreported in 2018, citing Morgan Stanley research. In the three years after its first facilities opened, local job growth averaged 1.9%.

Some cities saw even larger jumps. In the Phoenix area, job creation rose to 2.5% from -6.3%. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region of California saw growth of -0.8% surge by 8.5% after Amazon opened several warehouses and sorting facilities.The booms also extended beyond Amazon's own employees. The cities' transportation, warehousing, and utilities sectors — the last of which includes no Amazon hires — saw job growth outperform by 3.6%, according to Morgan Stanley.

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