Cramer on Amazon’s $15 minimum wage: ‘Welcome to the world of full employment’

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Jim Cramer on $15 minimum wage: Welcome to the world of full employment

Amazon raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all U.S.-based employees is a result, in part, of a booming U.S. economy, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

“Welcome to the world of full employment,” said Cramer, whose charitable trust owns shares of the e-commerce giant. “If you want employees, you’re going to have to pay.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that average hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent in August, the highest wage growth since mid-2009. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 201,000, topping estimates of 191,000.

Some economists have said the U.S. economy has reached or exceeded so-called full employment, defined as the point at which all available workers have jobs. The next jobs report will be released Friday.

Amazon’s wage increase will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees and another 100,000 seasonal employees. Some employees who already make $15 per hour will also see a pay increase.

Competitors have announced similar increases.

Target has said it would raise minimum hourly wage to $11 in January and to $15 by 2020.

Amazon had been facing criticism for its pay disparity, including from Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Reacting on Tuesday, the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist said he wanted to give Amazon “credit where credit it due.”

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Sara Salinas contributed to this report.


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