Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has announced plans to create more than 100,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months. Amazon says that these new job opportunities will be for people “with all types of experience, education and skill levels.” Amazon said additional jobs could be created indirectly for small sellers using Amazon’s marketplace.
Amazon said many of the new positions will be at warehouses in Texas, California, Florida and New Jersey that are currently under construction. Amazon opened about two dozen new warehouses in the third quarter of 2016, bringing its total number globally to nearly 150. The company is planning to open 16 new fulfillment centers over the next few months, creating more than 15,000 jobs. Another 20 warehouses could be announced this year, employing up to 6,000 people each.
Other positions will be available in cloud technology, machine learning and advanced logistics. Amazon hired 120,000 holiday workers in the U.S. in 2016, and thousands of them will stay on. Amazon is also likely to convert some part-time jobs to full-time.
In a statement, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stressed that a lot of the jobs would be in “local communities.” Amazon says these full-time jobs will include up to 20 weeks of paid leave and extensive parental benefits. The additions would increase Amazon’s workforce in the U.S. to 280,000. The company had 30,000 employees in 2011.
The announcement comes a month after Bezos met with President-elect Donald Trump with about a dozen other tech leaders. Mr. Trump has urged the tech industry to keep jobs and production inside the U.S. The president-elect made job creation a central message of his presidential campaign. Companies in a variety of industries have announced plans to retain or add U.S. jobs since his election.
His public praising or shaming of corporations for their business decisions is creating a new reality for companies. During the presidential campaign, tech leaders overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton. At various times before the election, Trump called Amazon a “big tax shelter” and threatened “such problems” for the company. In the days after Mr. Trump’s election, Amazon’s share price fell 9 percent to as low as about $719 before recovering.
Amazon’s announcement comes at a time when many traditional retailers have been closing stores and cutting jobs by the thousands. Macy’s announced last week that it would be eliminating more than 10,000 jobs and closing dozens of stores. Wal-Mart plans to cut nearly 1,000 corporate positions this month after cutting about 7,000 back office store jobs last year.