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ATLANTA — Amazon plans to add 150,000 temporary workers in the United States for the holiday shopping rush, a 50% increase from the company's holiday hiring push a year ago.
Amazon, like many retailers and logistics companies, is facing challenges hiring workers and is raising pay, dangling bonuses, and expanding benefits in response to the pressures. The company's holiday jobs this year have an average starting pay of $18 an hour — higher than Amazon's $15 minimum wage— sign-on bonuses up to $3,000 and an additional $3 an hour in pay for certain shifts in some locations, Amazon said in an announcement Monday.
Amazon's temporary positions for the holidays include picking, scanning and packing items at warehouses and loading boxes onto trucks.
Amazon's business has surged during the pandemic as many shoppers, spending more time at home, increased their online purchases. Amazon has added more than 450,000 workers in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic and now has upward of 950,000 U.S. workers.
"It's a very competitive labor market out there. And certainly, the biggest contributor to inflationary pressures that we're seeing in the business," Brian Olsavsky, Amazon's chief financial officer, said in July. "We're spending a lot of money on signing and incentives."
Amazon last month said it planned to hire 125,000 permanent workers ahead of the holidays.
Other chains are adding temporary and permanent workers at stores and warehouses to meet demand from holiday shoppers.
Walmart plans to hire around 150,000 employees, most of them in permanent, full-time positions, while Target is aiming to bring on 100,000 seasonal workers and 30,000 permanent supply chain employees.
UPS, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Macy's and others are also adding workers for the holidays. Some are offering sign-on bonuses this year for new hires and other incentives.
There are signs, however, that interest in holiday work for some has dwindled.
The share of job seeker searches for seasonal work during the seven days ending Sept. 22 was down 1.5% compared with the same time last year and 39% from 2019, jobs site Indeed said in a report last month.