Ama­zon sets plan to add 100,000 jobs

New ware­houses get many of them

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - COM­PILED BY DEMO­CRAT-GAZETTE STAFF FROM WIRE RE­PORTS

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 it 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.

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 longterm 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.

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