Online retailer Amazon has kicked off yet another round of large-scale recruitment, with the aim of increasing its fulfillment and transportation headcount by 125,000.
The new hiring initiative unveiled on Tuesday is national in scope, though the Seattle-based company is putting special emphasis on 18 states where it’s investing billions in new logistics hubs.
The push is fueled by a relentless, two-year battle to expand its logistics network across the United States that is still going strong. Amazon said Tuesday that during 2021 it has opened over 250 new fulfillment centers, sorting centers, regional air hubs and delivery stations across the country. In September alone, it plans to open “over 100” more locations, provided that the company can muster up the staff to do it.
The task is a tall order. Amazon is up against “extensive labor shortages” in every region of the United States, according to a Sept. 8 report from the Federal Reserve, and has also been accused of difficult working environments in some areas, which could make it harder to entice new employees. In response, the company has offered higher starting wages, benefits that begin on the first day of work, and sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000.
About half the open jobs appear to be in the West. Amazon hopes to hire 7,500 workers in Arizona, about 4,500 in Washington and a whopping 26,000 in California. News reports Tuesday indicate that the company also plans to hire about 2,700 in Colorado, though the official statement cited was not available to CoStar News.
To the South, Amazon is focusing on Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Meanwhile, in the Midwest, Amazon’s attentions will center on four states that form a long, heavily industrialized corridor at the base of the Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Finally, on the East Coast, Amazon is doubling down on Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Earlier this month, Amazon announced that it planned to hire another 40,000 white-collar and tech workers. If both hiring initiatives are successful, its total workforce will grow by about 17.4%, from 950,000 at its last earnings report in late July to about 1.1 million.
Such rapid expansion is not unprecedented. After the arrival of the pandemic in early 2020, Amazon’s already intense campaign went into high gear as the company sought to make the most of a newly captive audience: millions of quarantined consumers who turned to the internet for basic goods and entertainment. By the end of 2020, the company increased its industrial footprint by over 100 million square feet and nearly doubled its workforce, from 500,000 to 950,000.