Ama­zon draws hun­dreds of job seek­ers

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Hun­dreds of peo­ple showed up Wed­nes­day for a chance to pack and ship prod­ucts to Ama­zon cus­tomers, as the e-com­merce com­pany held a gi­ant job fair at nearly a dozen U.S. ware­houses.

Though it’s com­mon for Ama­zon to ramp up its ship­ping cen­ter staff in Au­gust to pre­pare for Christ­mas shop­ping, the mag­ni­tude of the hir­ing surge un­der­scores Ama­zon’s growth when tra­di­tional re­tail­ers are clos­ing stores — and blam­ing Ama­zon for a shift to buy­ing goods on­line.

Ama­zon planned to hire thou­sands of peo­ple on the spot. Nearly 40,000 of the 50,000 pack­ing, sort­ing and ship­ping jobs at Ama­zon will be full time. Most of them will count to­ward Ama­zon’s pre­vi­ously an­nounced goal of adding 100,000 full-time work­ers by the mid­dle of next year.

The com­pany is advertising start­ing wages that range from $11.50 an hour in Chat­tanooga, Tenn., to $13.75 an hour in Kent, Wash., near Ama­zon’s Seat­tle head­quar­ters. The $11.50 rate amounts to about $23,920 a year. In Wash­ing­ton state, the cur­rent min­i­mum wage is $11.50, but by 2020 this will in­crease to $13.50. By com­par­i­son, the ware­house store op­er­a­tor Costco raised its min­i­mum wage for en­try-level work­ers last year to $13 to $13.50 an hour.

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