Amazon to hire 150,000 holiday workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon will hire 150,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal warehouse workers ahead of the holiday season.

The announcement, made on Thursday, shows the e-commerce giant is taking a less conservative approach to vacation planning than Walmart, which said last month it would hire 40,000 U.S. workers for the holidays, down from 150,000 in 2021.

Amazon, which typically ramps up operations during the holidays, was looking for the same number of seasonal workers last year. Its other competitors, UPS and Target, said their holiday hiring plans would also remain consistent with the previous year.

Seattle-based Amazon said workers could earn an average wage of $19 an hour, depending on their position and location in the United States. The company announced last week that it would raise the average salary of frontline workers by $1, a move aimed at attracting more employees in a tight labor market. He also said he would make changes so that employees could be paid more frequently than once or twice a month.

Analysts expect the holiday shopping season to be impacted by the uncertain economic environment, as budget-conscious shoppers face higher prices for food and other necessities amid the… high inflation and rising interest rates.

Salesforce, which analyzes online shopping data, predicts digital sales will hit $265 billion in the United States in November and December. That means holiday sales will remain essentially flat from a year ago, growing just 3%, despite performing strongly from pre-pandemic levels, Salesforce said. Analysts note that higher prices could also lead to fewer total orders. And the current inflation rate of 8.3% means retailers would see a drop in real sales.

To meet the needs of cash-strapped consumers who should spread out their holiday shopping, retailers are offering more discounts — and doing so much earlier. Next week, Amazon will host its second Prime Day-like discount event of the year, the first time the company has held a major sales event twice in a year following its Prime Day in July. Target and Walmart have announced they will also be running deals this month.

Amazon’s overall retail business has been sluggish in recent months as Americans walk away from the surge in online shopping caused by the pandemic. Pandemic-fueled demand has been so high over the past two years that it has driven the company to double its physical footprint and nearly double its workforce to 1.6 million. When the worst of the pandemic subsided, the company was left with too much space and too many workers. It has reduced its warehousing capacity in recent months by subletting some of its warehouses, delaying or canceling the construction of others. Between March and June, it also said it cut its workforce by around 100,000 through attrition.

Although Amazon is increasing hiring at its warehouses, it is tightening its budget elsewhere. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that the company was implementing a hiring freeze on the business side of its retail business for the remainder of the year.

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