Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 new employees for its warehouse and delivery operations in the U.S. to keep up with demand during the current coronavirus outbreak, the company said today.
Workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers will also get an extra $2 per hour through the end of April. Currently, Amazon pays $15 per hour for entry-level jobs in its fulfillment centers. In addition, the company will also temporarily increase pay by £2 per hour in the U.K. and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. In total, Amazon expects to spend about $350 million in increased compensation across the U.S., Europe and Canada.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Amazon and our network of partners are helping communities around the world in a way that very few can—delivering critical supplies directly to the doorsteps of people who need them,” writes Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior VP of Worldwide Operations. “Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues. We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year.”
During this current crisis, as people are urged to stay at home as much as they can, demand for delivery is obviously at an all-time high. Amazon’s logistics operation is already straining under the current demand and often unable to offer same-day deliveries (or even any deliveries in the next couple of days) through Amazon Prime and Fresh in many places in the United States. At the same time, Amazon has also started running out of some household staples, including toilet paper and other daily necessities, as people prepare to stay at home for a prolonged period of time.
Just last week, Amazon also said it would provide up to two weeks of pay to all Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19, and established a relief fund of $25 million to help its independent delivery service partners and drivers.
In today’s press briefing, President Trump also noted that Jeff Bezos has offered his help, though it’s unclear in what capacity.