Amazon reveals how much it paid its median employee last year: $29,007

Amazon reveals how much it paid its median employee last year: $29,007
Rick T. Wilking/Getty ImagesRick T. Wilking/Getty Images
  • The median Amazon worker made $29,007 in 2020, a $159 increase from the year prior.
  • The CEO-to-worker pay ratio is 58:1 at Amazon, which is lower than Walmart, CVS, and others.
  • Amazon raised its minimum wage in the US to $15 per hour in 2018.

The median Amazon worker made $29,007 in 2020, according to the company's annual proxy statement.

The median pay, calculated using the compensation of all full- and part-time permanent and temporary employees worldwide except the CEO, was a $159 increase from the year prior.
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Bezos earned 58 times that in 2020, with an annual compensation of $1,681,840, the same as the year prior. In other words, he makes more in one week than the median Amazon worker.
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The company noted other major corporations have even higher CEO-to-worker pay ratios, with Walmart's at 983:1, and CVS at 434:1, according to Payscale.com.

But that's just Bezos' salary. The Amazon CEO's net worth ballooned by tens of billions of dollars during the COVID-19 pandemic as the company's shares rallied amid the rise in online shopping. Bezos owns about 10% of Amazon stock or 53 million shares.

The CEO, who is stepping down from his role later this year, has a nearly $200 billion fortune, making him the wealthiest person in the world. He's rivaled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose worth has passed him a couple times this year, according to Fortune. But Bezos remains at the top.
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Read more: Amazon logistics salaries revealed: Here's what workers bulking out Amazon's supply chain make, from entry-level analysts to senior management

As for Amazon's US full-time employees, they saw more of a wage boost in 2020. The company reported a median annual compensation of $37,930, a boost of $1,290, resulting from "special bonuses and incentives awarded to our teams in 2020 in recognition of their role serving communities during the COVID-19 pandemic," Amazon said in its proxy.
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Four months into the pandemic last June, Amazon dropped its $2-per-hour hazard-pay bump for 250,000 warehouse workers as the company announced its highest sales growth in three years. Amazon said the boost was always temporary.

Full-time US workers also got an approximate $1,500 boost in 2019 from the year prior after the e-commerce giant raised its US minimum wage at the end of 2018 to $15 an hour. The company had faced criticism for the wage gap between workers and C-suite executives, CNBC reported at the time.

In his final letter to shareholders as CEO, Bezos wrote that, "Two and a half years ago, when we set a $15 minimum wage for our hourly employees, we did so because we wanted to lead on wages - not just run with the pack - and because we believed it was the right thing to do." The company previously called out other big employers, including Walmart, for not raising its wages to $15.
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Bezos said in the letter the company is aiming to be "Earth's best employer."

The company has received criticism over its working conditions, especially for drivers, who have reported urinating in water bottles and defecating in bags when on the clock.

However, two workers at the Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, which voted against forming a union earlier this month, said they didn't want a union because of the good pay and benefits at the company.
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