Amazon sets date for a 50,000 position job fair

SEATTLE (USA TODAY) — Want to work at Amazon? Your best chance may come Aug. 2.

That's when the e-commerce giant plans to open its doors to job seekers at 10 shipping sites around the country, all part of a company-wide initiative to fill more than 50,000 U.S. positions.

Most of the job openings will be for full-time positions, though Amazon said in a statement more than 10,000 part-time roles at its sorting centers will also be available. There will also be some openings in management.

Amazon's announcement of this giant job fair comes at a time when the labor market is growing tight with back-to-school and holiday shopping around the corner. That means other employers will likely be competing for many of the same potential hires.

Amazon plans to invite job seekers to warehouses in 10 locations between 8 AM to noon local time on Aug. 2. Warehouses are in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Etna, Ohio; Fall River, Mass.; Hebron, Ky.; Kenosha, Wisc.; Kent, Wash.; Robbinsville, N.J.; Romeoville, Ill.; and Whitestown, Ind.

The company also plans to host off-site "Job Day" events in Buffalo, N.Y., and Oklahoma City.

“We are excited to host interested candidates to come learn more about the technology we utilize in our operations, see our dedicated onsite classrooms, meet employees and, if interested, apply for a job at our site and receive an on-the-spot job offer," vice president of Amazon's worldwide operations human resources John Olsen, said in a statement. "These are great opportunities with a runway for advancement."

Olsen added that of Amazon's entry level managers across its U.S-based fulfillment centers, nearly 15% started in hourly roles.

Would-be candidates who can't attend in person will be able to watch Amazon's Job Day in real-time via Facebook Live on one of Amazon's Facebook pages. 

This Wednesday, July 19, 2017, photo shows an Amazon Fulfillment Center in Miami. On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Amazon said that it’s looking to fill more than 50,000 positions across its U.S. fulfillment network. It’s planning to make thousands of job offers on the spot during its first Jobs Day on Aug. 2, where potential employees will have a chance to see what it’s like to work at Amazon by visiting one of 10 participating fulfillment centers. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) (Photo: Alan Diaz, AP)
Amazon has gone on a hiring spree ever since January when the company said it wanted to fill 100,000 full-time positions over the next 18 months. Earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to open a new fulfillment facility in Orlando, adding 1,500 jobs. Amazon previously said it would add 900 workers in Boston and 1,600 in Michigan.

Bolstering the number of fulfillment centers nationwide is part of Amazon's ongoing efforts to provide the shortest wait times for products, analysts say. Amazon Prime members typically get freely-shipped products within two-days of when they're purchased, though sometimes products are delivered within one day or even on the same day. By moving inventory closer to where customers are located, costs are kept in check, and the likelihood of speedier delivery times increase. 

While the nation's unemployment rate is 4.4%, near a 16-year low, the average hourly pay rose just 2.5% in the past year. The last time unemployment was this low, wages were rising at roughly a 4% rate.

Wages hikes have been slow in coming, however, something that is being watched closely by U.S. monetary policy makers.

Amazon said its jobs offer 'highly-competitive' pay, along with health insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings plans, tuition and company stock benefits. Other benefits include up to 20 weeks of paid leave and programs such as Ramp Back, which give new mothers more control over the pace at which they return to work.

The company's growth has been phenomenal, with sales almost doubling in a three-year span, and now it is seeking to grow outside of its core. It recently announced a $13.7 billion deal to buy organic grocer Whole Foods. It also added Sears' Kenmore products to its website and is rolling out its own ready-to-eat meal packages, competing with companies like Blue Apron.

Amazon had 30,000 full-time U.S. employees in 2011. By the end of 206, the company employed around 180,000 people. It could approach 300,000 by the middle of next year.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow USA TODAY Personal Tech Columnist @edbaig on Twitter

Contributing: Associated Press

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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