Amazon plans to hire 5,000 more workers

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Amazon has been growing very quickly for the past few years. The company has tripled its workforce in the past three years and is now adding another 25% over an unspecified amount of time, starting immediately. Amazon currently employs 20,000 fulfillment employees.  They are also hiring 2,000 customer service jobs, as previously announced.

President Obama will be visiting the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee center on Tuesday and is sure to use the announcement to talk up the economy and recovery.

Amazon employees in general have it better than those working at many other retail and similar jobs. They are paid more, averaging 30% more pay than the average retail worker, and have access to stock grants that can mean up to 9% in yearly base pay increases (in value).  Often described as “the Walmart of dot coms,” though, Amazon has many similarities – and many differences – from the retail giant.

Amazon stock has performed well, though not blisteringly, despite the company’s reported losses as it continues investment in growth amidst very thin profit margins. The company has also publicly lobbied for the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would create a national Internet sales tax requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes for the jurisdictions from which they operate. This would be a boon to Amazon, who currently must collect in some states that require sales taxes but not in those that don’t. The controversial Act would be beneficial to large dot com outlets like Amazon, Walmart, and others, who fulfill orders from multiple jurisdictions and thus have to collect sales taxes based on where they’re fulfilling from and sending to.  Critics of the Act point out that it would adversely affect small businesses operating out of only one location and who don’t currently have to collect outside of that.

Amazon employs a total of 97,000 people currently, up from about 30,000 three years ago.

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