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Amazon plans to hire 100,000 over the next 18 months

Posted January 12

The North Carolina Department of Revenue has settled a privacy lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union and has agreed to stop asking for the personal information of Amazon.com customers, officials said Wednesday.

— Amazon plans to hire 100,000 full time workers over the next 18 months, highlighting its ambitious expansion plans — and the sharp contrast the e-commerce powerhouse strikes against traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, many of which are cutting jobs and closing stores .

Amazon has long been known for investing the money it makes back into its businesses, and it's doing that with a vengeance. The new hires will largely support new Amazon fulfillment centers in states such as Texas and California, expanded delivery capabilities and its money-minting Amazon Web Services cloud computing business.

The numbers are generally in line with Amazon's past hiring plans. Amazon, which had a total of 306,800 full-time and part-time employees globally at the end of September, hired a total of 123,700 globally during the 15 months ended in September, according to quarterly filings.

AMAZON HITS THE GAS

Amazon said Thursday its U.S. workforce has grown from 30,000 in 2011 to over 180,000 at the end of 2016. By comparison, Walmart — the world's largest retailer — employs about 2.4 million people worldwide, including 1.5 million workers in the U.S.

Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said the announcement shows that Amazon's hiring appears to be accelerating.

"We view this announcement positively in terms of the current trajectory of Amazon's businesses, as well as management's confidence in the long-term outlook," he said. "The hiring is consistent with our view that Amazon will continue to invest aggressively in its retail, media, technology and logistics businesses."

TRUMP OR NO TRUMP?

The news comes a month after President-elect Donald Trump met with tech leaders, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Throughout the presidential election campaign Trump and Bezos clashed after Trump attacked Bezos and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns. But they appeared to make nice when Bezos attended the meeting in December.

Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, noted in a call with reporters on Thursday that Amazon made the announcement after the meeting, when Trump urged tech leaders to keep jobs in the U.S.

Spicer said that Trump was "pleased to play a role" in the job gains. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request to comment on what role, if any, Trump had in the jobs announcement.

Baird's Sebastian downplayed the politics factor, noting only that the online retailer may have deployed some "political capital" in the timing and details of its announcement.

"We suspect there is little, if any, shift of employment at Amazon from international locations to the U.S.," he said. "Moreover, we expect the pace of hiring internationally to accelerate as well."

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE STORE

Things are much less rosy at traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Last week , the Limited said it would close all its stores and Macy's moved forward with plans to close 68 stores and said it will cut more than 10,000 jobs. There have been unconfirmed reports Walmart is also planning layoffs.

"The move from bricks to clicks is causing major disruption in the retail industry," said economist Diane Swonk.

___

AP Writer Joseph Pisani in New York contributed to this report.

6 Comments

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  • Curt Sherrill Jan 12, 4:48 p.m.
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    This is not a story about politics, but rather a story about how the traditional shopping model of brick & mortar stores are becoming a thing of the past. eCommerce has exploded over the years, and set records this past holiday season. The fact that retailers like Macy's, Sears, LImited, and more are closing stores is clear evidence of that. I saw an article on visualcapitalist.com, that showed that over the past 10 years, the market value of Amazon has increased by nearly 2000%, while companies like Sears has decreased 96%, Macy's down 55%, Kohls down 64%,etc. Also looking at the amount of holiday shopping done online - mobile is the growing trend. Shopping on mobile devices was up dramatically year over year. Point is, traditional retail is becoming a dinosaur. eCommerce is the future.

  • Jim Bob Jan 12, 3:50 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Nice try in attempting to make this fit your political narrative, but one of many points in where you fail at doing so is when one considers the fact that decisions to hire at this volume aren't made overnight--or usually even within a quarter or two of when they're announced publicly. Considering the stockholder considerations and deliberations at the board level, very few companies have the kind of agility required to make this decision and announce it within a roughly six-week period. But, I appreciate your attempt to give credit where it isn't due.

  • Don Mitchell Jan 12, 3:39 p.m.
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    View quoted thread



    Yeah right, like no company invested in anything in the last 8 years. It's called shifting consumer buying preferences. Amazon makes it very easy to buy anything imaginable and have it delivered to your door in two days or less. They're simple taking advantage of today's consumers and will eventually squash brick and mortar retailing as we know it.

  • Thom Stark Jan 12, 3:03 p.m.
    user avatar

    We can now see what happens when companies are not fearful of investing and have hope. Quite a change from the last 8 years.

  • Andrew Stephenson Jan 12, 2:20 p.m.
    user avatar

    We've now got two distribution centers in the Triangle area. One over in RTP/Durham, and then their Prime Now distribution center off Atlantic just outside 440. I suspect other regions and cities are seeing Amazon's footprint growing, ever since they gave up on their "we don't want to collect sales tax" fight, they've pushed hard at getting local presence to snatch up some of those "instant gratification" type people, such as myself. This is where the job growth is going to be for them (as the article explains).

  • Anna Temple Jan 12, 12:31 p.m.
    user avatar

    I read this and thought 'very good news' then I began to wonder if we are 'shipping' our local retail jobs over to amazon and closing stores. So will our American Dream neighborhoods change? Will it be like it 'used to be' ?