As one of the companies that benefitted from the pandemic, Amazon has recorded unprecedented growth resulting in soaring demand from consumers who turned to online shopping.
To meet the demand that is accelerating ahead of the holiday season, the company has hired a significant number of seasonal workers.
According to data acquired by Finbold, Amazon has onboarded 150,000 seasonal employees across the U.S. in 2021, an addition of 50,000 or 50% growth from last year’s figure of 100,000. In 2019, the eCommerce platform hired 200,000 seasonal employees, the highest over the last decade.
Elsewhere, in 2018 the firm hired 100,000 employees, a slight drop from 2017’s figure of 120,000. Data on Amazon’s seasonal employees’ hiring is provided by Statista.
With the upcoming holiday season, Amazon is anticipating demand in online orders, and the employees will be involved in fulfilling basic tasks. The employees will pick, scan, pack, and ship orders at warehouses across Amazon’s network during the peak season.
The company intends to hire more employees as the economy attempts to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Globally, online shopping has gained prominence, with the health crisis acting as a key catalyst. In this line, Amazon has expanded to meet the new demand and employees will play a key role in managing the Amazon network warehouse and distribution that has expanded rapidly. Notably, Amazon opened additional fulfillment centers, sortation centers, regional air hubs, and delivery stations across the U.S. in 2021.
The seasonal employees will support Amazon’s permanent workers and likely help the company to more revenues. According to our previous report, Amazon generated $837,350 in revenue per minute for Q1 2021, representing a growth of 44.04% from $582,200 recorded during the same period in 2020. Furthermore, amid accelerating growth, it will be interesting to see the amount every Amazon employee generates. In 2020, Amazon generated $297,381 per employee from a workforce of 1.29 million employees.
Worth noting is that the planned hiring by Amazon comes at a period the United States labor market is experiencing a crisis. For instance, a significant number of employees have quit their jobs despite the expiring unemployment benefits, underscoring the challenges employers face in a tight labor market heading into the holiday season. However, to stay ahead, Amazon has moved to improve the benefits of seasonal employees. Recently, the eCommerce giants revealed that the employees would get ‘great pay and benefits as the company aims to improve flexibility. Furthermore, in some cases, the seasonal employees usually can be onboarded as full-time workers.
Amazon might also have the upper hand in sustaining the competitive labor market, considering that recent research showed that the company was named as the most preferred firm where Americans want to work and develop their careers. Notably, the company has placed focus on factors like job advancement and career-building. Amid the labor crisis, Amazon also faces competition from other online retailers who want a share of seasonal workers.
Emerging from the pandemic
The drop in seasonal employees between 2019 and 2020 is a potential reflection of the pandemic’s impact on the labor market. Despite increased demand, the company approached the hiring with caution to enhance the safety of both employees and customers.
Notably, the pandemic reshaped the holiday shopping season, especially with cases rising and more people being compelled to place orders online. The projected growth in this year’s hiring reflects the economy’s reopening amid the vaccine rollout.
However, on the flip side, the focus will be on Amazon’s treatment of the employees, especially regarding the working conditions. Previously, the company has come under fire for overseeing employees’ challenging working conditions, especially sanitation facilities and long working hours. Additionally, the company has long opposed the formation of unions by employees.
Justin Baltrusaitis writes data-driven stories on finance, banking, and digital assets for Finbold. His reports were cited by many influential outlets globally like Forbes, Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Nasdaq.com, Investing.com, Reuters, among others.