Amazon hiring 250,000 extra workers for holiday season

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A warehouse worker at Amazon.

Eyeing the upcoming holiday rush, Amazon announced on Tuesday that it’s seeking to hire 250,000 warehouse and delivery workers to work alongside its existing team. A bump in the hourly pay rate is also being offered in the hope of encouraging more people to sign up.

The e-commerce giant usually runs hiring campaigns around this time of year to help it manage the huge volume of extra deliveries that come its way as folks jump online to buy gifts and other items during the holiday season.

Amazon said it’s is looking to fill full-time, part-time, and seasonal roles in hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S. Tasks expected of those working in Amazon’s operations network include stowing, picking, packing, sorting, and shipping customer orders, among others. Amazon suggests that the job could lead to a permanent role, or even a long-term career, if the fit feels right for both worker and employer.

To encourage people to join it over the holidays, the online shopping giant is offering signing bonuses of between $1,000 and $3,000 in select locations, with employees offered between $17 and $28 per hour depending on position and location. The average pay works out at $20.50 per hour, slightly up from last year.

Amazon also offers health, vision, and dental insurance from the first day on the job, among other benefits.

“Whether someone is looking for a short-term way to make extra money, or is hoping to take their first step toward a fulfilling and rewarding career at Amazon, there’s a role available for them,” Amazon executive John Felton said in a release. “A fulfillment or transportation employee who starts with us today will see a 13% increase in pay over the next three years — likely more, including our annual wage investments — and that’s on top of offerings like prepaid college tuition with Career Choice and health care benefits from day one.”

Amazon announced its hiring spree just a day after the company launched a defense of its safety record regarding working conditions at its U.S. warehouses. State labor regulators in Washington have alleged that Amazon workers face an increased risk of ergonomic injury and musculoskeletal disorders from handling heavy items, though Amazon denies the accusation and says it’s constantly working to improve safety. Notably, in Tuesday’s release, the company states that on-the-job safety training is offered to incoming workers, whether they’re coming to Amazon for the first time or have prior experience at the company.

The drive to hire more warehouse and delivery workers also follows around 27,000 job losses at Amazon in several rounds of layoffs this year, mostly in corporate roles, as part of restructuring efforts prompted by an uncertain economic outlook.

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