Amidst Amazon’s Explosive Growth in New Jersey, Wages Have Fallen Up To 17%, New Report Finds

Amidst Amazon’s Explosive Growth in New Jersey, Wages Have Fallen Up To 17%, New Report Finds

 

Research Suggests Port Authority’s Dirty Deal with Amazon May Depress Wages Further, According to Advocates

 

NEWARK, N.J. –– New research from the Good Jobs Clean Air NJ Coalition and United for Respect confirms that the community’s fears that Amazon’s expansion will harm New Jersey workers is well-founded: an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data found that in the decade between 2010 and 2020, as Amazon rapidly expanded warehousing and delivery in New Jersey, wages in those sectors declined significantly.

 

“Amazon lies, but data doesn’t. This new analysis of federal data confirms what our community has known all along: Amazon cannot be trusted to bring good paying jobs to New Jersey. Amazon has pushed down our state’s wages in the last decade, and will only do so at accelerated speed if the Port Authority follows through with its secret deal with the corporation. New Jersey workers deserve stable, safe, high-paying jobs. New Jersey doesn’t need Amazon — Amazon needs us,” said Yambeli Gomez, Make the Road NJ’s Leader Organizer for Workplace Justice.

 

Original findings from the report include:

 

  • Today, Amazon is likely the largest private employer in New Jersey. From 2013 to 2020, the number of Amazon facilities in New Jersey ballooned from 1 to 49. As of 2020, 1 in 100 New Jersey workers was employed by the company. 
  • Between 2015 and 2020, Amazon’s New Jersey workforce grew nearly 800%. In that same period, New Jersey’s Delivery and Courier wages declined 10% when adjusted for inflation, while Warehousing and Storage inflation-adjusted wages declined 17%.

 

“Every community should be wary when they hear about Amazon setting up shop and what it may mean for those who get hired at these facilities, including the health impacts and the decline in fair wages. Amazon impacts local businesses and air quality for everyone in the community. Communities shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of  these things for corporate convenience and profit. That’s where we draw the line,” said Chloe Desir, Environmental Justice Organizer at Ironbound Community Corporation.

 

This research comes at a point of mounting pressure from the Newark and Elizabeth communities on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to abandon their secret deal for Amazon to build an air cargo mega-hub at the Newark International Airport:

 

  • Last Thursday, over 75 community members delivered a petition with thousands of community signatures to the Port Authority at its monthly board meeting in opposition to the agency’s controversial plan.
  • Several local elected officials representing communities surrounding the airport, including Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage, and State Senator Joe Cryan, have expressed their concern and opposition to the proposed deal.
  • This Saturday at 12PM, the community plans a demonstration of opposition at Wilson Park (1200 Virginia St. Elizabeth, NJ). They will march down Frelinghuysen Ave in Newark for a community canvass.

 

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka recently wrote in a letter to the Port Authority, “It is my hope that you can work with our administration and with local organizations like the Good Jobs Clean Air coalition. They are Newark residents, community leaders, and environmentalists who live and work in the communities surrounding Newark airport and they represent thousands of residents in these neighborhoods.”

 

The planned project would give Amazon a twenty-year lease to build two 250,000 sq. ft. air cargo facilities next to the airport, securing a critical air hub for Amazon as the company quickly ramps up its operations.

 

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Good Jobs Clean Air NJ is a community group from Newark, Elizabeth, and communities surrounding Newark International Airport that demands good jobs for workers, clean air for children and families to breathe, reduced traffic congestion and zero emissions, and protection for small businesses.

 

United for Respect (UFR) is a national non-profit organization. UFR is a multiracial movement of working people throughout the U.S. advancing a vision of an economy where our work is respected and our humanity recognized.

 

Make the Road New Jersey is an advocacy organization that builds the power of immigrant, working-class & Latinx communities to achieve dignity and respect through community organizing, legal, policy innovation and transformative education.

 

Ironbound Community Corporation works with the people of Ironbound to identify needs and develop community-based solutions for them. ICC strives to empower people to better control and develop their own lives, families, and community.

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