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Amazon to hire 125,000 more ground workers in United States

By AFP - Sep 14,2021 - Last updated at Sep 14,2021

In this file photo, a woman works at a distribution station at the 855,000 square-foot Amazon fulfillment centre in Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City (AFP photo)

NEW YORK — Amazon announced plans on Tuesday to hire 125,000 more workers in the United States as it broadens its logistical footprint amid strong e-commerce growth during the pandemic.

The new jobs will be in transportation and e-commerce "fulfillment" — the picking, packing and shipping of goods. The roles will offer a starting wage of more than $18 an hour, Amazon said.

Signing bonuses of $3,000 are available for some of the roles. An Amazon press release also stressed health benefits and other perks, such as a recent programme to pay full college tuition for front-line employees.

The hiring spree comes at a time when restaurants, delivery companies and other employers have struggled to fill jobs in the reopening American economy.

It also comes as Amazon continues to grow at a fast clip, having opened 250 new fulfillment centres, sortation and regional air hubs so far in 2021. 

Big companies in retail and retail-adjacent sectors typically add workers in the fall, in anticipation of the holiday shopping season. Walmart and UPS are among the companies that have announced seasonal hiring efforts.

The Amazon press release described the positions — in such roles as sorting, delivery and grocery shopping — as a "springboard into a longtime career".

But the company also signalled that some of the new workers will likely leave the company after the holidays.

"Whether you're looking for a short-term job to make money for the holidays or a long-term career, you're welcome here and we look forward to having you on our team," said Dave Clark, head of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon.

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