On Aug. 2, 2017, Amazon hosted its first Amazon Jobs Day, with simultaneous coordinated job fairs across the U.S, with the intention to hire 50,000 people on the spot for assorted part-time and full-time warehouse jobs.
The job fairs are drawing huge crowds of job seekers to Amazon warehouses, which the company calls fulfillment centers, in 12 states across the country. The fairs and fulfillment centers are located in Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Kentucky, Washington, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
The company gave potential hires tours of the warehouse, followed by brief interviews for available positions. Around 10,000 of the available jobs are reported to be be part-time; the rest will be full-time.
Amazon pays its fulfillment center employees between $10 and $12 per hour. The full-time positions include benefits such as medical coverage from the start and some tuition prepayment. Part-time positions include medical benefits kicking in 90 days after starting and tuition prepayment options. Most of the jobs available are jobs as packers and shippers of the company’s products, or as pickers.
What is a picker?
Amazon’s fulfillment centers send out millions of packages a day in peak demand. Items in a single order need to be picked off the shelves and gathered to be mailed. The pickers’ job is to use a scanning device to locate and gather these items as fast as possible.
Some of Amazon’s fulfillment centers can take up as much square footage as 28 football fields. That means a lot of walking for some employees, who sometimes work 12-hour shifts.
The big picture
Amazon’s mass-hiring of warehouse workers seems to be part of the company’s January announcement that they would hire an extra 100,000 workers by mid-2018, expanding their full-time domestic workforce by more than 50 percent to more than 280,000 in a span of 18 months.
Amazon is investing heavily in warehouses in order to keep goods stocked in closer proximity to customers. That way, they can fulfill orders more quickly and cheaply by reducing shipping times and costs. The new hires from “Amazon Jobs Day” will be very important to maintaining the company’s promise of two-day shipping for its growing number of Amazon Prime members.
Sixteen new fulfillment centers are planned to open in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018, which will further Amazon’s demand for warehouse workers. Some of these new fulfillment centers are Amazon’s first expansion into new geographic areas such as Houston.
Amazon is a goliath of American commerce, expanding at a breakneck pace. They’re bringing jobs back to communities in desperate need of work. People can’t be more excited about these developments. While it never hurts to be cautious about the large-scale ramifications of major company expansions, for the moment, this is nothing but good news for 50,000 lucky Americans eager to get to work.
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