Amazon In Bakersfield, More Jobs To Come!
Amazon announced their new distribution center right across from Bakersfield’s Meadows Field Airport quite a while ago, and slowly over time we got to see the site starting to take shape, then the building walls go up, and finally the campus start to take shape, and originally estimates were that Amazon was to bring in just under 1000 jobs to the Bakersfield area, from there, the new numbers provided by Bakersfield College are that Amazon will provide upwards of 3000 people in their distribution center here in Bakersfield.
Does Amazon Really Pay Their Employees Too Little?
It is said that an entry position at the distribution center will start at $15/hour and go to around $17/hour overtime with no more raises being offered until the employee can move into a higher position. Based on the schedule provided, within 2 years each entry-level employee should be maxed out on their hourly pay until they can move up into a higher position. This higher pay leads to an annual salary of around $34,000/year.
Looking at the average rents for properties in the area, we can see that for a single person living in a one-bedroom apartment it could be possible to live very comfortably. Most rents will be under $800/month and will equate to just below ⅓ of the employees’ after-tax income. If someone is in need of a two-bedroom apartment then the number starts to get a little tighter, and they most likely need someone else in the house working as well.
That being said, there are new multifamily real estate developments in the area that are increasing their rents to almost $1200/month for a two-bedroom apartment, and this means that the entry level Amazon employee would not be able to make ends meet unless they had another working partner in the home.
Is That Enough Money?
I cannot say whether it is enough money or not. This, to me, seems like a mostly philosophical debate based around each person’s values and goals. What I would say is that if you are someone who has minimal education, you can get a good job and afford to pay rent in a middle-class neighborhood and live on your own comfort. This is something that cannot be done in other locations around our state and country. Does that mean I fully agree with the Amazon pay structure? No, I do not.
North Bakersfield Development
With all of the Amazon hype, there has been a lot going on with the new multifamily, commercial and industrial development in the area as well. People are spending quite a bit of time and money developing the area around the Amazon facility as well which could bode well for investors in the area over the future.
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