Why it matters: There's been a lot of discussion in public forums regarding the federal minimum wage for workers in the US. Amazon's decision to bump its minimum wage to $15 and the impact it'll have on the company's operating costs will be studied closely by onlookers in the coming months and could impact rates at other major companies.

Amazon's fourth quarter earnings report was packed full of ancillary details regarding the company's operations in 2018. One of the biggest takeaways involves the recent decision to raise its minimum wage.

Amazon, if you recall, announced in October that it would be increasing its hourly minimum wage to $15 for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees starting November 1. After announcing the rate increase, Amazon received a record 850,000 job applications for hourly positions in the US in October.

Amazon said that is more than double the previous record for the most job applications received in a single month.

According to the company, the new minimum wage impacts more than 250,000 employees in the US and 17,000 workers in the UK. The more than 200,000 seasonal employees Amazon hired over the holidays also benefited from the wage hike.

The e-commerce giant finished the fourth quarter with 647,500 full-time and part-time employees, or 14 percent more than it had at the same point a year earlier.

Chart courtesy Quartz