By Clare Duffy, CNN Business
After increasing its workforce to more than 1.3 million people In 2020, Amazon plans to hire an additional 55,000 employees worldwide over the next few months, the company said on Wednesday.
This is the first major hiring surge since new general manager Andy Jassy took the reins from Jeff Bezos in July. It precedes the company’s annual career day, which is scheduled for September 15.
Most of the new jobs will be in corporate and tech roles, which Jassy told Reuters are needed to help the business keep pace with demand in retail, advertising and cloud computing – business units that got a boost during the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon’s effort to launch a constellation of miniature satellites into space to provide high-speed broadband access, dubbed Kuiper Project, is also in the process of recruiting, he said.
The new hires will increase Amazon’s global business and technology workforce by 20%, which currently totals around 275,000, the company said.
Amazon hired nearly 500,000 employees in 2020 (although this may be due in part to the constant and significant turnover among hourly workers), and this latest effort is expected to make this year’s Career Day the most important ever for the company.
In the United States, the company plans to add 40,000 business and technology employees, as well as tens of thousands of hourly positions to its operating network. The remainder of the 55,000 hires will concern positions in Canada, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, India and Japan, according to Amazon. The vast majority of the 55,000 hires will be for new positions the company is adding, rather than filling existing positions, the company said.
The announcement came on the same day that Walmart – Amazon’s competitor in online retail and logistics – said it was seeks to hire 20,000 workers for its distribution and fulfillment centers.
It also comes as Amazon faced stiff criticism for its treatment of distribution center workers and a failed effort to unionize one of its warehouses in Alabama. In June, one of the largest unions in the United States approved a resolution to undertake a broader campaign to organize warehouse workers at the e-commerce giant.
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