Delivery giants Amazon, UPS, FedEx hiring tens of thousands

Companies that deliver packages to America’s homes are preparing to hire tens of thousands of people, both seasonally and on a long-term basis.

Amazon on Wednesday said it is seeking to bring aboard 33,000 people for corporate and tech roles in the next few months.

It’s the largest number of job openings it’s had at one time, and the Seattle-based online behemoth said the hiring is not related to the jobs it typically offers ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

Meanwhile, United Parcel Service said Wednesday it plans to hire more than 100,000 extra workers to help handle an increase in packages during the holiday season.

UPS said Wednesday that it expects a record peak season. Online shopping has been growing for years, and the pandemic has given it an extra boost as some shoppers avoid going to stores.

That follows an announcement last week by FedEx, which said it plans to hire up to 70,000 seasonal workers, a big jump from 55,000 last year.

Volume of packages for delivery usually rises starting in October and runs through January.

Atlanta-based UPS said it will have full-time and part-time seasonal jobs, mostly package handlers, drivers and driver helpers. UPS touts the seasonal jobs as ones that can lead to year-round employment, saying that over the last three years, about 35% of people for seasonal package-handling jobs wound up in permanent positions.

The delivery giants have seen a boom in residential deliveries since lockdowns kept consumers out of stores, and fear of contracting the virus has limited their shopping trips. More lucrative deliveries to businesses have declined, however. The residential deliveries are most costly too, because they tend to be more spread out.

Amazon has thrived during the coronavirus outbreak. People have turned to it to order groceries, supplies and other items online, helping the company bring in record revenue and profits between April and June. That came even though it had to spend $4 billion on cleaning supplies and to pay workers overtime and bonuses.

Demand has been so high, Amazon has struggled to deliver items as fast as it normally does and had to hire 175,000 more people to help pack and ship orders in its warehouses. Walmart and Target have also seen sales soar during the pandemic.

Amazon said the jobs will be added around Amazon’s offices across the country, including Denver, New York, Phoenix and its hometown of Seattle. The new hires will work from home at first, but the company said it does want employees to return to the office eventually.

Ardine Williams, Amazon’s vice president of workforce development, said plans to build a second headquarters near Washington, D.C., are going as planned, despite the pandemic, with 1,000 workers already hired.

To fill the 33,000 jobs, Amazon said will hold an online career fair Sept. 16 to collect resumes and give people a chance talk to a recruiter. The average salary of corporate or tech job at Amazon is $150,000, Williams said. Those not interested in a job at Amazon can also get resume help, the company said.

At a similar career fair last year, about 17,000 people showed up in person and Amazon said it received more than 200,000 applications for 30,000 jobs.

In July, the company said its workforce topped 1 million worldwide for the first time, making it the second-biggest U.S.-based private employer behind Walmart Inc.

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