SEATTLE, (UPI) — Online retail giant Amazon said it will hire an additional 100,000 workers at facilities across the United States in the next 18 months.
The expansion comes as the online juggernaut seeks to expand its already vast array of products to include things like groceries and other household items, and create a multi-tiered delivery system that would enable it to make products available in less time than traditional overnight shipping.
The company made the hiring announcement in a press release Thursday. CEO Jeff Bezos said the new jobs would support communities across the country, not just in the Pacific technology corridor.
“Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it’s created hundreds of thousands of American jobs. These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley — they’re in our customer service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country,” Bezos said. “We plan to add another 100,000 new Amazonians across the company over the next 18 months as we open new fulfillment centers, and continue to invent in areas like cloud technology, machine learning, and advanced logistics.”
Amazon already employs about 180,000 people in the United States.
Bloomberg reported the timing of the hiring is a boon to President-elect Donald Trump, who recently met with leaders in the technology sector, including Bezos. Several of the companies have since announced plans to hire more U.S. workers.
Critics, however, noted that many of the warehouse jobs Amazon plans to create are not as profitable for workers as others being pillaged in traditional brick-and-mortar department stores that are suffering as consumers migrate to shopping online. Retailers Sears and Macy’s announced they plan to close hundreds of stores and lay off thousands of workers after a disappointing 2016 holiday shopping season that saw more consumers turning to the Internet than department stores for many purchases.
Critics have also pointed out Amazon warehouses, which the company refers to as “fulfillment centers” are usually built thanks to large government subsidies, meaning they pay little or nothing in taxes to states and municipalities.
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