The company is also boosting the starting pay for new workers to an average of $20.50 an hour
Amazon is looking to hire 16,000 people for its Southern California warehouse network as part of a seasonal push to fill 250,000 jobs nationwide before the holiday shopping season.
The company, which is looking for 100,000 more employees than it did the previous two holiday seasons, is also raising the average starting pay for new employees to $20.50 per hour. Base wages in some areas will be as high as $28 per hour.
According to a report by Challenger Gray & Christmas, a subdued holiday shopping forecast puts Amazon’s hiring announcement at odds with a cooling economy.
“With inflation slowing, businesses, particularly retailers, will find it more difficult to pass on higher labor costs to customers.” As evidenced by the increase in job cuts in this sector, this could lead to more cuts rather than more added positions,” said Andrew Challenger, a labor expert at the firm.
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Challenger predicted that seasonal hiring would be the slowest since 2008.
Amazon’s announcement comes just one day after Macy’s announced that it will hire more than 38,000 full- and part-time seasonal employees across the country at its Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury stores. This is a decrease from the 41,000 jobs sought by the company a year ago.
The e-commerce behemoth stated that more jobs are available due to the company’s opening of over 50 new fulfillment centers, delivery stations, and same-day delivery sites in the United States this year.
A strong presence in the Inland Empire
Amazon, which plans to hire 30,000 people in California this holiday season, has a strong presence in the Inland Empire, with over 40 robotic fulfillment centers, sortation facilities, and delivery stations, as well as the company’s KSBD air hub at San Bernardino International Airport.
When the company’s annual raises are factored in, a fulfillment or transportation employee who starts immediately will see a pay increase of 13% or more over the next three years, according to John Felton, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide operations.
In a blog post, the e-commerce behemoth stated that it will invest $1.3 billion this year in wage increases for warehouse and transportation workers.
According to Amazon, 54% of Inland Empire employees hired over the last decade were previously unemployed. It was also 14% of their first job.
Employee walkout, Senate inquiry
Amazon, like many other companies, is facing hiring challenges as union activity and disgruntled employees demand higher pay and better working conditions.
Delivery drivers and dispatchers staged a one-day walkout in mid-June at the company’s Palmdale warehouse and delivery center, claiming they are underpaid and forced to work in oppressive heat during the summer months.
The 84 workers are employed by logistics partner Battle-Tested Strategies and subcontracted by Amazon. They voted in April to join Teamsters Local 396 in the hopes of raising their hourly wages to $30 and gaining immediate safety protections.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced in June that he would launch a Senate investigation into labor conditions at Amazon warehouses and the company’s treatment of injured workers.
“The company’s pursuit of profits at any cost has resulted in unsafe physical environments, intense pressure to work at unsustainable rates, and inadequate medical care for tens of thousands of Amazon workers every year,” Sanders wrote to Amazon executives in a letter.
Amazon stated that its full-time, seasonal, and part-time positions range from picking and packing to sorting and shipping and have flexible schedules. Anyone interested in applying should visit amazon.com/apply.