Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth, has revealed plans to significantly bolster its holiday workforce by adding a substantial 250,000 U.S. employees for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
This move represents a 67 percent increase compared to its hiring in the past two years, underlining its urgency to enhance next-day delivery capabilities to meet escalating shopper demands during the festive season.
This ambitious hiring initiative by Amazon stands in stark contrast to the strategies adopted by many U.S. retailers, who anticipate reduced consumer spending in 2023 and consequently plan to hire fewer employees for both their stores and warehouses. Forecasts indicate that holiday sales may see a decline of approximately half compared to the previous year due to concerns surrounding escalating prices.
A study by Challenger, Gray and Christmas indicates that seasonal hiring is poised to reach its lowest point since 2008, primarily attributed to rising costs and diminished consumer confidence.
Retail giant Target has disclosed its intentions to hire 100,000 employees for the holiday shopping season, maintaining the same hiring levels as the previous year. The company is also set to initiate discounts starting in October to boost holiday sales.
On the other hand, Macy’s has announced plans to hire over 38,000 full-time and part-time workers for the upcoming holiday season, representing a decline from the previous year.
While U.S. retail giant Walmart has yet to unveil its holiday hiring plans, it had hired 40,000 seasonal workers in 2022.
Amazon’s augmented hiring spree comes on the heels of the addition of 50 new fulfillment centers, delivery stations, and same-day delivery options across the United States. The move aligns with the company’s preparation for its expanded fall Prime Event, scheduled for October 10-11.
During Amazon’s Prime Event, the company is urging its merchants to offer discounts, a strategic move aimed at enticing cost-conscious shoppers to make purchases well ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days.
Amazon’s seasonal hiring drive encompasses full-time, part-time, and seasonal fulfillment employees. New hires responsible for order picking, sorting, packing, and shipping will receive sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 in select locations. This offering marks a slight reduction compared to the $3,000 bonuses provided to associates in specific locations in 2022 and 2021.
In terms of wages, Amazon has pledged to pay its seasonal workers an average hourly wage between $17 to $28, dependent on their roles and locations. This range represents an increase from the $19 hourly wage offered to workers in the previous year.
Seattle-based Amazon has committed to investing $1.3 billion towards pay raises for fulfillment and transportation workers in the current year. John Felton, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, emphasized that a new fulfillment or transportation employee starting their journey with Amazon today would witness a 13 percent pay increase over the next three years, with potential for more through annual wage investments.
Earlier this year, Amazon initiated a workforce reduction, laying off 27,000 staff members, constituting around 9 percent of its workforce. This strategic move targeted the advertising, cloud computing, and human resources departments in the wake of prior tech-related layoffs.