Amazon is boosting its maximum base salary for corporate workers, citing the competitive labor market as one of several factors behind the change.
The company said Monday in an internal memo to employees that it will now cap base pay for all white-collar workers at $350,000, a significant jump from its previous max of $160,000.
Base pay is only a portion of employees’ total compensation. This figure does not include restricted stock units, which typically vest in increments over several years, as well as other cash, such as sign-on bonuses. The company’s compensation has historically been weighted heavily to stock.
“This past year has seen a particularly competitive labor market, and in doing a thorough analysis of various options, weighing the economics of our business and the need to remain competitive for attracting and retaining top talent, we decided to make meaningfully bigger increases to our compensation levels than we do in a typical year,” according to the memo, which was first reported by GeekWire.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the memo, but declined to comment further.
In addition to increasing base pay, Amazon said it’s also increasing overall compensation ranges for most jobs globally, and “the increases are much more considerable than we’ve done in the past,” according to the memo.
The changes come as Amazon has increasingly come under fire from employees for what they see as below-market pay. Base pay was recently labeled as one of the top reasons for employees wanting to depart the company, Business Insider reported last month, citing internal surveys.
Competition for labor is more intense than before, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has afforded workers greater leverage to demand better benefits and pay. More and more companies are also offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote or hybrid employment. That’s led Amazon and other tech companies to admit that failing to offer those benefits could potentially hurt their ability to attract or retain talent.
Amazon did not rank among the top seven employers for engineering pay last year, according to Levels.fyi, which tracks pay in the tech industry. A top-level engineer at Roblox could make more than $1 million, while one at Facebook could pull over $900,000, although these figures include all forms of compensation, not just base pay.