Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced on Tuesday that it will hire more than 70,000 full-time seasonal workers to staff its U.S. fulfillment centers this holiday season -- a 40 percent rise over last year -- to help meet rising consumer demand.
The Seattle-based Internet retail giant hired 50,000 seasonal workers in 2012 and converted thousands of them into regular employees. According to the company, seasonal employees earn 94 percent of Amazon fulfillment-center starting wages and are also eligible for health care benefits. Seasonal workers are paid roughly 6 percent less on average than full-time workers’ starting wages, which is typically about $11 an hour.
“So far this year, we have converted more than 7,000 temporary employees in the U.S. into full-time, regular roles and we're looking forward to converting thousands more after this holiday season,” Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, said in a statement.
Amazon, which currently has about 88,400 employees worldwide, said that it has added more than 40,000 jobs in the U.S. across all divisions of the company since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon has been developing its own network of warehouses close to urban centers like San Francisco and San Antonio to speed up delivery and, eventually, offer new services, such as grocery delivery.
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Retailers usually engage seasonal employees in the weeks ahead of the holiday shopping season to work in stores and help in distributing and fulfilling online orders.
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) said recently that it will hire about 55,000 seasonal workers this year, while Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS) said it was targeting 50,000 seasonal employees. Another retail giant, Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT), expects to hire 70,000 seasonal workers this year, which is 20 percent lower than last year, the Journal’s report said.