Amazon.com announced it plans to create more than 100,000 full-time jobs over the next 18 months, a massive hiring spree that suggests the e-commerce company expects a run of breakneck growth for its retailing operations and its lucrative cloud computing division.
Amazon, whose chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post, says the hiring will include a broad range of positions, including engineers and software developers but also big teams to work in its growing network of fulfillment centers.
The announcement by Amazon comes as President-elect Donald Trump has directed a series of angry tweets at companies that have moved jobs overseas or are opening new plants abroad. Perhaps in response, many in corporate America have begun to trumpet their commitment to creating jobs in the United States. Last week, for example, when Stanley Black and Decker announced it had agreed to buy the Craftsman tool brand from Sears, it was careful to stress that the deal would mean the company was going to do more manufacturing stateside.
Amazon's plans to significantly grow its workforce are a sharp contrast to what has been seen elsewhere in the retail industry in recent weeks. Macy's announced last week it will slash some 10,000 jobs this year as it closes stores and tries to cut costs by thinning its ranks of middle managers. The Limited just laid off 4,000 people as it closed its entire fleet of brick-and-mortar stores.
And it continues a pattern seen during the holiday season. While traditional chains such as Kohl's and Target added roughly the same number of temporary workers in 2016 as they did in 2015, Amazon significantly expanded its brigade of seasonal hires from 100,000 in 2015 to 120,000 in 2016.
Amazon's U.S. workforce has swelled from 30,000 employees in 2011 to about 180,000 in 2016. The company said many of the new positions would be in Texas, California, Florida and New Jersey, where it is currently constructing new warehouses in which it will pack online orders.