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Amazon sets plan to add 100,000 jobs

New warehouses get many of them by Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports | January 13, 2017 at 5:45 a.m.

NEW YORK -- Amazon said Thursday that it plans to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. over the next 18 months.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant said the hiring will cover a broad range of needs, including engineering, software development and the big teams that work in its growing network of warehouses.

Amazon said it has expanded its U.S. workforce by more than 150,000 people in the past five years.

The company also highlighted its role as a platform for third-party providers who use its online site to sell wares and create jobs. It also is a revenue generator for the contractors who sign up to deliver packages. Marketplace, Amazon's online platform for third-party merchants, supports 300,000 jobs in the U.S., Amazon said.

"Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it's created hundreds of thousands of American jobs. These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley -- they're in our customer-service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country," Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said.

"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."

A hiring binge by Amazon is nothing new. It is well on its way to becoming the second-largest employer among Fortune 500 companies with its 180,000 employees, behind Wal-Mart and its 1.5 million U.S. workers. Amazon recently advertised more than 8,000 jobs in Seattle and said Thursday that it had more than 40,000 employees in Washington.

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Colin Sebastian, an analyst for the Baird investment services firm, said the announcement shows that Amazon's hiring appears to be accelerating.

"We view this announcement positively in terms of the current trajectory of Amazon's businesses, as well as management's confidence in the long-term outlook," he said. "The hiring is consistent with our view that Amazon will continue to invest aggressively in its retail, media, technology and logistics businesses."

The company said many of the new positions would be in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas, where it is currently constructing new warehouses where it will pack online orders.

The jobs announcement by Amazon comes as President-elect Donald Trump has directed a series of chastising tweets at companies that have moved jobs overseas or are opening new plants abroad. Many in corporate America have begun to trumpet their commitment to creating jobs in the United States. Last week, for example, when Stanley Black and Decker announced it had agreed to buy the Craftsman tool brand from Sears, it was careful to stress that the deal would mean the company was going to do more manufacturing stateside.

The 100,000 new jobs is "a very powerful headline, and the timing certainly makes Trump look good," said Ivan Feinseth, an analyst at Tigress Financial Partners LLC. "It's going to happen in the first year and half of his administration. Bezos couldn't have set him up any better to look good -- timing is everything."

Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, was part of a group of leading technology industry executives who met with Trump last month in Manhattan to discuss points of concern. Jobs, immigration and China topped the agenda. Since then, several companies -- including IBM and Alibaba -- have publicly announced hiring plans, though some of them were polishing previously announced intentions. In a call with reporters Thursday, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said his boss was happy to play a part in Amazon's decision.

Amazon's announcement contrasts with a big retrenchment among major retailers such as Macy's, which have seen their businesses buffeted by Amazon's growth. Last week, The Limited said it would close all its stores, and Macy's moved forward with plans to close 68 stores and said it will cut more than 10,000 jobs.

Amazon.com Inc. shares rose $14.62, or 1.8 percent, to close Thursday at $813.64.

Information for this article was contributed by Mae Anderson of The Associated Press, Angela Gonzalez of The Seattle Times, Sarah Halzack of The Washington Post and Spencer Soper and Jing Cao of Bloomberg News.

A Section on 01/13/2017

Print Headline: Amazon sets plan to add 100,000 jobs

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