Amazon draws hundreds of job seekers
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.