Amazon has announced that it will hire an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers to deal with the recent surge in online orders in the US as consumers turn to online shopping during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Just as the ecommerce giant is trying to expand its workforce to deal with the crisis, so to are US supermarket chains which have started looking for new employees to staff their stores and fulfill online orders. Both Amazon and supermarket chains are turning to recently unemployed workers from the restaurant, travel and entertainment business to fill out their ranks.
In a blog post, Amazon explained that these workers have a place with the company if they so choose, saying:
“We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis. We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
The coronavirus outbreak has led to some items being out of stock on Amazon and deliveries being delayed, which is why the company has decided to hire more workers.
The company’s total number of employees actually fluctuates seasonally as it takes on more workers during the holidays and at other busy periods during the year. Amazon’s total number of employees recently peaked during the 2019 holiday season when it had 798,000 full and part-time workers.
To help bring in new employees and retain its current ones, the ecommerce giant said it would add an additional $2 to its minimum $15 per hour wage for US workers through April. This pay increase for hourly workers in North America and Europe is expected to cost Amazon over $350m.
More employees will certainly help meet consumer demand during this trying time but it is still unclear as to whether or not delivery operations will be affected by new government restrictions.