Amazon Will Hire 100k Warehouse Workers Amid Pandemic-Driven Surge in Online Shopping

Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire
Monica Nickelsburg is GeekWire’s Civic Editor, covering technology-driven solutions to urban challenges and the intersection of tech and politics. Before joining GeekWire, she worked for The Week, Forbes, and NBC. Monica holds a BA in journalism and history from New York University. Follow her @mnickelsburg and read her stories on GeekWire.
Amazon Will Hire 100k Warehouse Workers Amid Pandemic-Driven Surge in Online Shopping

Amazon is planning to hire an additional 100,000 warehouse workers to keep up with the volume of orders placed by customers amid a global COVID-19 outbreak.

Amazon said Monday it will spend more than $350 million to increase wages for workers in fulfillment centers, delivery operations, and retail stores. The wage increases will be approximately $2 per hour in the U.S., £2 per hour in the U.K., and approximately €2 per hour in other European countries.

"Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues," said Dave Clark, head of Amazon's worldwide operations team, in a blog post. "We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year."

The plans would grow Amazon's global workforce to nearly 900,000. The company said it had 798,000 workers around the globe in January, up 23 percent year-over-year.

Thousands of Americans are telecommuting and self-isolating to slow the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that quickly escalated to a global pandemic. Amazon's Prime and Fresh delivery services are grappling with high demand and inventory issues, as warehouse workers report increased order volumes.

"We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis," Clark said in the blog post. "We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back."

Amazon is out of stock on a number of household staples and popular items, according to the company's COVID-19 response page.

"You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual," the site says. "We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders."

The Amazon Fresh website warns grocery deliveries "may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand." Amazon Fresh did not have any delivery windows available in the Seattle area as of Monday morning.

Amazon expanded its sick policy to provide two weeks of paid time off to all employees last week and advised telecommuting for any workers who can. That isn't a possibility for the warehouse workers and delivery drivers that power Amazon's e-commerce business, though.

Amazon launched a $25 million fund to help its network of independent delivery drivers, Amazon Flex workers, and seasonal employees deal with disruptions caused by the outbreak last week. The Amazon Relief Fund will provide grants equal to about two weeks' pay for workers who have the virus or are quarantined. Grants are also available to workers facing financial or other hardships.

The hiring spree was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and this story was first published by GeekWire.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


The Streamy Awards Prove that Online Creators and Traditional Media Are Still Disconnected

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

Read moreShow less

Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Slingshot Aerospace Raises $40 Million to Expand Space Object Sensor Network
Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

Read moreShow less

LA’s Largest EV Car Sharing Program Is Expanding, and Letting Other Cars Charge at Its Facilities

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

charging station
Blink Charging

It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

Read moreShow less