Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Amazon Is Hiring 100,000 Workers as Coronavirus Boosts E-Commerce

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 18, 2020 at 8:45AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The pandemic is causing a spike in demand as people order online from home.

With people being urged to stay at home as much as possible during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Amazon.com (AMZN 3.58%) has become an inadvertent beneficiary as e-commerce activity and online orders soar. The company announced this week that it would be hiring 100,000 new full- and part-time workers within fulfillment centers and its broader delivery network in order to "meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon's service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public."

Additionally, Amazon says it will also boost wages across different geographical regions through April, according to operations chief Dave Clark.

An unexpected seasonal spike

At the end of 2019, Amazon had nearly 800,000 full- and part-time employees, according to the company's most recent annual report. Amazon's business is highly seasonal and the company typically hires contractors and temporary workers during peak times -- such as the holiday shopping season -- to supplement the workforce. The pandemic is creating a surge in demand at an unusual time.

Amazon worker loading Amazon boxes on a conveyor belt

Image source: Amazon.

"Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues," Clark wrote. "We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year."

More specifically, Amazon notes that workers in certain industries that are being disproportionately impacted like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are especially worried about making ends meet. The company hopes to offer those people temporary employment "until things return to normal" and they can go back to their previous jobs.

As far as the wage increases, Amazon is boosting pay in several regions through the end of April.

Region

Wage Increase

U.S.

$2 per hour

Canada

2 Canadian dollars per hour

U.K.

2 pounds per hour

Many EU countries

2 euros per hour

Data source: Amazon.

Amazon previously increased its minimum wage to $15 per hour in the U.S. back in late 2018 following criticisms that the company wasn't paying a living wage while also paying little to nothing in federal income taxes. The fresh pay bump is expected to cost an estimated $350 million.

The company has been trying to crack down on unscrupulous third-party merchants that are trying to price gouge many basic necessities in an effort to profit on the pandemic. Amazon is also prioritizing essential categories over non-essential products as it tries to restock inventory, according to Reuters.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$116.46 (3.58%) $4.02

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
336%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/25/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.