Amazon is on pace to surpass the 1-million-worker mark this year after announcing that it's looking to hire at least 75,000 employees across its fulfillment and transportation networks in the U.S.
Amazon says the regions with most open positions include California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington and Michigan. The company employs about 950,000 people in the U.S., most at its hundreds of fulfillment centers.
Amazon recently announced pay increases across its fulfillment and transportation networks, and the new open roles offer an average starting pay of over $17 per hour, plus sign-on bonuses in many locations of up to $1,000.
In addition, the company offers full-time employees benefits including health, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) with 50% company match, paid parental leave, and access to various company-funded upskilling opportunities, including Amazon’s Career Choice program, which prepays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields.
“We look forward to hiring 75,000 associates across our fulfillment and transportation network,” said Alicia Boler Davis, VP of global customer fulfillment at Amazon. “Working at Amazon also comes with an unwavering commitment to safety, especially as we continue to navigate a global pandemic. In addition to the great pay and robust benefits available to new hires starting on their first day, we’re offering a $100 benefit to new hires who come to Amazon already vaccinated for COVID-19.”
In late March, Amazon began rolling out onsite vaccination events at fulfillment centers in Missouri, Nevada and Kansas. The program has now expanded to more than 250 locations across the U.S. and Canada and offers more than half a million front-line employees, contractors and partners access to the COVID-19 vaccine. In many locations, Amazon has also partnered with local authorities to expand its vaccination program to employees’ families. The onsite vaccine initiative is in addition to Amazon’s in-house COVID-19 testing program, which continues to provide front-line employees with access to voluntary, free testing across more than 800 sites globally.
Last month, Amazon reported that it logged a 44% year-over-year revenue increase and profits more than tripled to $8.1 billion during its first quarter.
Demand for the company’s e-commerce and advertising businesses drove the revenue and profit gains. But the company reported a big sales decline at its physical stores, which include its four grocery banners of Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go Grocery and Amazon Go, the largest such drop in years.
For the first quarter ended March 31, Amazon said revenue increased 44% to $108.5 billion compared with $75.5 billion in the prior year. Excluding the $2.1 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 41%. Operating income increased to $8.9 billion in the first quarter, compared with operating income of $4 billion in the prior year. Net income increased to $8.1 billion, or $15.79 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.5 billion, or $5.01 per diluted share, in first quarter of 2020. Operating cash flow increased 69% to $67.2 billion. Free cash flow increased to $26.4 billion.
On April 27, Amazon announced that it is expanding Key by Amazon In-Garage Grocery Delivery to everywhere grocery delivery from Amazon is available, providing the service to more than 5,000 U.S. cities and towns. Originally launched in five cities last November, Key In-Garage Grocery Delivery proved to be very popular with Amazon customers, according to the company. It can now be used by millions more eligible Prime members wishing to have their Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market groceries delivered inside their garage to keep packages safe from weather, damage and sticky-fingered neighbors.
Amazon announced on April 21 that it is launching its Amazon One technology at Whole Foods Market in Seattle, with plans to expand the tech cross the chain in the coming months. Amazon One allows shoppers to pay using the palm of their hand: their unique palm signature, as Amazon calls it.
Amazon first introduced the technology in September as an entry and payment option at several non-Whole Foods stores in the Seattle area, including Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star and Amazon Pop Up.
Amazon says thousands of customers have signed up for the service, and feedback has been great — customers have shared they appreciate how quick it is to enroll and use, and that its contactless nature has been helpful in the current environment.
As for Amazon's other Q1 highlights, the company said there are now more than 200 million paid Prime members worldwide. In the United States, Same-Day Delivery in as fast as five hours is free on orders over $35 on over 3 million items in select cities. This is in addition to Free Same-Day Delivery on millions of items in thousands of cities and towns across 47 major U.S. metro areas, plus over 10 million items available for Free One-Day Delivery coast to coast.
Amazon continues to expand Amazon Scout, a fully electric autonomous delivery system. Similar in size to a small cooler on wheels, Amazon Scout rolls down the sidewalk at walking pace and delivers items right to customers. Since its launch, Scout has delivered tens of thousands of packages to customers in California, Georgia, Tennessee, and Washington, and the program is continuing to expand to new communities in the United States.
Amazon now has 15 Amazon Fresh physical grocery stores. Amazon opened its first international physical retail stores powered by Just Walk Out technology with the launch of three Amazon Fresh locations in London. These new convenience grocery stores sell a range of products, including the new “by Amazon” private brand, and enable shoppers to enter a store, grab what they want, and leave without stopping to check out. Amazon Fresh grocery stores expanded into four new communities in the United States: Oak Lawn, Illinois; Bloomingdale, Illinois; Fullerton, California; and Long Beach, California.
Finally, Amazon continues to expand its air cargo network to meet growing customer demand. In January, the company announced the purchase of 11 aircraft from Delta and WestJet to expand its Amazon Air fleet to more than 85 aircraft by the end of 2022. Amazon also announced new Amazon Air sites in Toledo, Ohio and Fairbanks, Alaska, and plans to expand existing operations in Canada this summer.
Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is No. 24 on PG's list.