SEATTLE — Amazon is filling 100,000 seasonal job openings as it ramps up for the holiday shopping season, the company said Tuesday.
The commerce giant and its rivals and partners in online delivery, such as UPS, are emphasizing the career opportunities that can grow from seasonal jobs.
UPS, which is also trying to fill 100,000 seasonal openings with job fairs this weekend, said more than a third of its U.S. workforce began in a seasonal job.
Amazon touted more than 35,000 promotions among its operations workers so far in 2020, many who started in seasonal positions. Some 30,000 employees have taken classes through the company’s Career Choice program for new careers in commercial trucking, IT security, nursing and aircraft maintenance.
Meanwhile, the company has seen employee turnover rates in its network of fulfillment centers and delivery operations during the pandemic that are at least twice the industry average. It is facing the prospect of higher workers’ compensation rates in Washington state to reflect the greater number of injury claims at fulfillment centers compared to the broader warehousing industry.
Seasonal hiring plans among Amazon’s retail competitors reflect changed pandemic shopping patterns. Walmart said it is hiring for some 20,000 openings in its e-commerce fulfillment centers after pandemic hiring of more than 500,000 employees. Target is aiming for 130,000 hires, with an emphasis on staff to provide same-day services such as curbside pickup of online orders, and store safety measures.
Amazon’s 2020 seasonal hiring will be about half the 200,000 workers the company hired in anticipation of 2019’s holiday peak, but more in line with seasonal hiring levels from 2015-18. The company pays a minimum of $15 an hour to all employees.
The current holiday push follows a September drive to hire 100,000 permanent operations employees and the hiring of 175,000 temporary workers earlier this year to confront the pandemic-driven spike in demand. Some 70% of those seasonal jobs were converted to permanent positions.
Counting its seasonal work force, Amazon employs more than 1 million people globally.