Amazon revealed plans for yet another massive wave of holiday hiring.
Amazon says these positions offer opportunities for pay incentives, benefits and a path to a longer-term career, while also include bonus holiday incentives. Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include stowing, picking, packing shipping and delivering customer orders, and can also include a wide variety of other jobs such as managing people, being a safety ambassador, working in HR, IT and operating robotics.
The hiring wave comes as the unemployment rate sits at 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September data. The number of unemployed persons stood at 12.6 million, according to the report, a 1.0 million decrease from the prior month.
Amazon not only touted its job growth in sheer numbers, but also within the company, saying it has promoted more than 35,000 operations employees this year. Additionally, it noted 30,000 of its employees have taken advantage of its Career Choice program, which it has designed to help upskill people who are interested in pursuing a future in a high-demand field.
The tech titan’s seasonal hiring wave comes as logistics giant UPS looks to hire 100,000 of its own peak-season workers. The company expects to sign up more than half of those workers on Oct. 30, in its annual one-day UPS Brown Friday hiring blitz. Over the past three years, about 35 percent of UPS’s seasonal hires were later brought on in a permanent position after the holidays. Nearly one-third of its U.S. workforce started in seasonal positions, it says.
A month ago, Walmart announced it would hire more than 20,000 seasonal associates in its fulfillment centers. The additions follow the company’s hiring of more than 500,000 new associates since March.
Amazon got a head start on the holiday shopping season earlier this month with its annual Prime Day sale—pushed from its usual spot in July due to the pandemic.
Metrics from JP Morgan forecasted the event would bring in a total of $7.5 billion in sales this year, a 42 percent increase from 2019, CNBC reported. However, Amazon’s post-sale press release failed to tout the event as its “biggest day ever,” claims it made from 2016 through 2019, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet noted, Barron’s reported last week. This year, the company just called the sale “record-setting” for its independent sellers.
Amazon’s Prime Day sale coincided with events from Target and Walmart. Target’s Deal Days included digital deals on hundreds of thousands of items, more than double last year, it said. Walmart’s Big Save event offered Black Friday-like savings on thousands of items. The company offered free two-day shipping for orders over $35 for eligible items, while some were eligible for free next-day delivery or for in-store pickup.
Whether due to local restrictions or out of concern for their health and that of their loved ones, it’s no secret consumers this year have turned to alternatives such as online and omnichannel shopping like never before. With case numbers currently peaking for a third time, that demand for alternatives shows no signs of slowing down as the industry approaches the holidays.
Last month, Walmart made its new membership program Walmart+ available to all customers for $98 a year, less than Amazon Prime’s $119 yearly rate. The plan leverages the retailer’s online presence and reach of more than 4,700 stores, including 2,700 that offer same-day delivery. Members receive unlimited free delivery with in-store prices, a benefit previously available through its Delivery Unlimited subscription service.
Last week, Target announced plans to augment its in-store shopping experiences with tech-enabled features that allow for safety and social distancing, as well as convenience. The big-box retailer has also added to its same-day delivery services this holiday season, allowing online shoppers to receive an expanded range of food, home goods and apparel in as little as one hour through its logistics arm, Shipt.