Human Capital & Careers

Amazon to Increase U.S. Workforce by 50%

The addition of 100,000 full-time jobs will help Amazon staff the new warehouses it is building to maintain its edge in delivery efficiency.
Matthew HellerJanuary 12, 2017
Amazon to Increase U.S. Workforce by 50%

Amazon said Thursday it will add 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months, many of them at the new warehouses it is building to fulfill orders quickly and cheaply.

The e-commerce giant has been opening new fulfillment centers around the country as it pushes to maintain its edge in delivery efficiency. It promises members of its Amazon Prime shopping club two-day shipping.

CEO Jeff Bezos said the new jobs will extend beyond Amazon’s Seattle headquarters to communities across the U.S. Other roles will include engineer and software development, reflecting Amazon’s expansion of its cloud business.

“We plan to add another 100,000 new Amazonians across the company over the next 18 months as we open new fulfillment centers, and continue to invent in areas like cloud technology, machine learning, and advanced logistics,” he said.

The new jobs will increase Amazon’s workforce by more than 50% to more than 280,000 jobs. In 2011, Amazon had only 30,000 full-time employees in the U.S.

Amazon is currently building warehouses in Texas, California, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere. As USA Today reports, the company is increasingly emphasizing convenience of its retail service, such as Same-Day Delivery options, as its edge on pricing dulls with the introduction of state sales taxes.

“As that advantage dissipates, they’re focusing more on convenience, which is getting the product to your door as quickly as possible,” Edward Jones analyst Josh Olson said.

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said hiring was expected. “Amazon continues to meaningfully grow above e-commerce rates and continues to take share from traditional retailers,” he told Reuters.

Bezos was one of several Silicon Valley executives who met last month with President-elect Donald Trump. He said at the time that Trump’s focus on innovation “would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech.”

In addition to direct job creation, Amazon said “hundreds of thousands of jobs” are being created through such programs as its Flex citizen-driver program.