In the past two Black Fridays after Thanksgiving, gift-buyers spent more money on online than they did walking into stores to do it. In addition, the National Retail Federation announced Jan. 13 that while overall U.S. holiday retail sales hit a record $658 billion in 2016, non-store and online sales increased to more than $122 billion, up 12 percent over last year.
Amazon, as you might imagine, is reaping a large percentage of the profits in the huge increase in online commerce. As a result, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced Jan. 12 that during the next 18 months, his company is planning to add 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. to handle this upsurge in business.
It's true that many of the jobs will be in warehouses, stocking shelves and fulfilling mail orders. However, Amazon said the company also is seeking engineers and software developers to keep the company ahead of the curve in its thousands of cloud computing, analytics, machine learning and order-filling applications.
Job Needed All Over the Network
"Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it's created hundreds of thousands of American jobs," Bezos said. "These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley. They're in our customer service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country."
The world's largest online retailer has been expanding its workforce continually, especially in the last 11 years since it launched Amazon Web Services in 2006. In fact, AWS is Amazon's largest business division, but the retail side also has continued to blossom as more people get accustomed to buying things online.
During the past five years, Bezos said, Amazon has created a whopping 150,000 jobs in the U.S., increasing its U.S. workforce from 30,000 employees in 2011 to more than 180,000 at the end of last year.
Many of the new recruits, Amazon said, will be working in the company's fulfillment centers in Texas, California, Florida and New Jersey—several of which are still under construction or in the planning stage.
Amazon already employs more than 10,000 military veterans. It announced last year that it will hire another 25,000 veterans and military spouses between now and 2022.