Amazon Ramps Up Holiday Hiring By 20%

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it would be increasing the number of seasonal associates it hires for the holidays by 20 percent this year. Amazon will be hiring more than 120,000 temporary workers for this holiday season. The Seattle retailer hired 100,000 seasonal associates last year.

The seasonal positions will be created at fulfillment centers, sorting centers and customer service sites in 27 states. Vacant positions are available in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Competitors Target, Kohl’s and Macy’s are either scaling back to temporary employment or leaving their hiring quota unchanged. Macy’s will be hiring 83,000 seasonal workers for the holidays, according to a statement made in September. The figure represents a 2 percent decline from the previous year. Kohl’s plans to hire 69,000 additional workers and Target says it will hire more than 70,000, about even from a year ago.

Changes in the way Americans view the modern-day holiday rush are reflected in the moves these companies are making. Numerous shoppers are planning to do their holiday shopping online this year to avoid having to wait in long lines and haul home their packages. E-commerce businesses can also sell products at a lower price. Department stores, specialty shops and big-box retailers have struggled with the falling foot traffic.

Online shopping growth continues to eclipse shopping at traditional stores. The National Retail Federation is expecting this year’s holiday sales to increase by 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion. Online store sales are expected to increase by 7 to 10 percent to as much as $117 billion.

Amazon has invested a lot of money in attracting online shoppers. In addition to its ramped up hiring, the company has invested in building new warehouses around the world. At the end of July, the company said it has 123 distribution centers globally and more than 23 sorting centers. Amazon plans to add 21 new global fulfillment centers this year.

Earlier this year, Amazon promoted tens of thousands employees in its U.S. customer service and fulfillment centers to full-time positions. Existing full-time workers received competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits, and access to groundbreaking programs. Of the temporary workers Amazon hired last year, 14,000 were able to obtain full-time jobs by the end of the holiday season. Amazon is expecting to increase that number this year.