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Amazon to Boost US Holiday Hiring Amid Retail Changes

Ashley Waithira



  • Amazon has unveiled plans to recruit 250,000 workers in the U.S. for the festive shopping season, marking a significant 67% increase from the previous year.
  • This decision starkly contrasts with several other U.S. retailers’ strategies, expecting a dip in consumer spending in 2023.
  • The reason behind Amazon’s aggressive hiring push stems from its expansion, which includes 50 new fulfillment centers, and delivery stations, and the introduction of same-day delivery in the U.S.
  • During the upcoming Amazon Prime Event on October 10-11, the online retailer is set to entice merchants to propose discounts, possibly attracting cost-conscious shoppers to make early festive purchases. 

Amazon is defying the expected trend for 2023. While several U.S. retailers prepare for a downturn in consumer spending, Amazon is gearing up to cater to a potentially massive demand.

Comparing Retailers’ Strategies

  • Research by Challenger, Gray, and Christmas suggests that seasonal hiring may plummet to its lowest since 2008 due to increased costs and dwindling consumer confidence.
  • Target, not deviating from its last year’s figure, plans to employ 100,000 individuals for the holiday season and is set to roll out discounts from October.
  • Macy’s will onboard over 38,000 full and part-time staff, slightly down from 41,000 in 2022.
  • As of now, Walmart, the largest U.S. employer, remains tight-lipped about its holiday hiring plans, though they had recruited 40,000 seasonal employees the previous year.

Amazon’s Hiring Perks and Wage Hikes

  • The roles at Amazon will encompass full-time, part-time, and seasonal capacities in fulfillment and delivery.
  • Newly hired personnel involved in the picking, sorting, packaging, and shipping of orders can anticipate sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 in select areas. This compares to the flat $3,000 bonuses offered in some locations during 2022 and 2021.
  • On the wage front, Amazon’s seasonal employees can expect hourly rates between $17 and $28, based on the nature and location of their jobs. This represents an increase, with the average pay for warehouse and delivery roles now reaching $20.50, up from the previous $19.
  • John Felton, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, highlighted the company’s commitment to its workforce by stating, “A fulfillment or transportation employee who starts with us today will see a 13% increase in pay over the next three years — likely more, considering our annual wage investments.”

Amazon’s Year in Review

Despite Amazon’s assertive hiring and investment in workforce wages, it’s essential to note the company’s challenging year. Earlier, Amazon had made the tough decision to let go of 27,000 staff members, approximately 9% of its workforce, predominantly from its advertising, cloud computing, and HR departments, amidst a slew of tech layoffs.

The Broader Retail Landscape

With other major retailers such as Target and Macy’s holding steady or slightly reducing their seasonal workforce, there is a clear divergence in the industry. Amazon’s ambitious moves indicate its confidence in its business model, possibly driven by its expansive network and online dominance.

  • Evolving Consumer Habits: The ongoing global situation has accelerated the shift towards online shopping, with many consumers now preferring the convenience of home deliveries over traditional in-store shopping.
  • Technological Advancements: As technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual try-ons become more prevalent, they are expected to enhance the online shopping experience, further driving consumers towards e-commerce platforms like Amazon.

Challenges Ahead

Amazon, despite its current hiring spree and wage increases, will not be without its challenges:

  • Labor Relations: Amazon’s labor practices have been under scrutiny. The company’s warehouse injury records and attempts by some workers to unionize have been highly publicized, indicating potential challenges in managing a rapidly expanding workforce.
  • Supply Chain Issues: Global supply chain disruptions, if unresolved, might affect Amazon’s ability to deliver on its promises, impacting consumer trust.
  • Competition: Other e-commerce platforms and traditional retailers are also evolving, investing in digital transformations to enhance their online presence, thereby providing stiff competition to Amazon.

Looking Ahead

Amazon’s recent moves paint a picture of a company keen to remain at the forefront of e-commerce, especially during peak shopping seasons. By increasing its workforce and investing in better pay structures, Amazon seems geared to meet the holiday demand head-on. With the retail landscape witnessing a shift due to changing consumer behaviors and economic conditions, it remains to be seen how Amazon’s bold steps in preparation for the festive season will pan out and set the tone for retail in 2024 and beyond.

Ashley is a creative and adventurous Journalism graduate with a vibrant personality. Her love for exploring new places fuels her passion for travelling, allowing her to uncover captivating stories and diverse cultures. With a kind and fun-loving nature, she radiates positivity and enjoys connecting with people from all walks of life. Ashley's belief in a supreme being serves as a moral compass, guiding her to always strive for what is right and just. In her spare time, she immerses herself in the pages of books, seeking inspiration and expanding her knowledge. Ashley's zest for life and unwavering dedication to her values make her remarkable.