Amazon Is Hiring a Crazy Number of Seasonal Workers

Photo (cc) by stevendepolo

Amazon is getting ready for an onslaught of holiday shoppers with plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers.

That’s a big hike — 20,000 more workers than the Seattle-based online retailer hired for the holiday season in 2014, the Associated Press reports. That’s in addition to the 25,000 full-time workers Amazon has brought on since August.

Amazon’s planned holiday hiring spree is indicative of the shift in how Americans shop. In the past, shoppers hunted for bargains and holiday gifts at brick-and-mortar retailers. Now, Americans can do all their shopping online without ever having to set foot in a store.

While Amazon is boosting its holiday hiring by 25 percent over 2014, other retailers plan to take on the same number of seasonal workers as last year or even reduce their holiday hires, according to John Challenger, CEO of global outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, speaking to the AP.

“It used to be that the bulk of holiday hires would be in customer-facing positions on the sales floor and behind the cash register,” Challenger said. “These extra workers would also help pick up the slack in the backroom, helping to receive and stock increased deliveries. Now, as more and more shopping is completed online, the holiday hiring is shifting away from stores and into the warehouses.”

While Wal-Mart, Target and Macy’s plan to keep their holiday hiring on par with last year – 60,000, 70,000 and 85,000 respectively — Kohl’s is increasing its holiday hires by about 2,000 workers. Other retailers, including J.C. Penney and Toys R Us, plan to hire fewer seasonal workers than they did in 2014, the AP reports.

The National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey found that Americans plan to do nearly half (46 percent) of their holiday shopping, which includes browsing and purchasing, online this year. Shoppers plan to spend about $805 this holiday season, which is about the same as 2014.

“Despite the challenges that still exist in our economy, it looks as if consumers are eager to celebrate the holidays with friends and family this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “We expect consumers will tackle their holiday shopping lists with a healthy dose of optimism, tempered by a hint of caution as they look for ways to find the perfect, practical gift.”

How do you do your holiday shopping, in store or online? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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