Amazon announces that it will provide another stream of jobs. The online retail giant says that it hopes to add over 30,000 part-time jobs in the United States over a span of the next year.
Amazon says that many of the positions they will be opening up will be for virtual customer service. It will open at least 5,000 jobs in that division. But a great majority, the remaining 25,000 to be exact, would be for Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon says that any part-time employee who works at least 20 hours a week or more will be eligible for benefits.
This new wave of jobs is part of Amazon’s hiring kick that they’ve been on since January. Back then, the online giant said it was bringing 100,000 full-time jobs to the United states within the next 18 months. Those full-time positions also come with benefits, and most of the positions that need to be filled up would be in new centers like cloud technology and machine learning, as well as other fulfillment centers.
Amazon has been bulking up its staff over the last few years. Amazon, in 2011, stated that they had over 56,000 full and part-time workers on staff. Close to the end of the 2016 fiscal year, however, that number climbed up to a hefty 341,000.
It would seem that the fears many were having about robots replacing human jobs, has been put on the back burner with all these new positions being offered. While Amazon experimented with its Amazon Go stores, supermarkets that would allow customers to bypass long checkout lines, many people had mixed feelings.
It was thought by those who work at supermarkets that their jobs were at risk. If people were choosing the Amazon Go store, where all they had to do was pick up their items and leave, why would they go to regular supermarkets and wait in line? Yet Amazon disputed these thoughts and made sure that people knew how valuable humans are to the workforce. Amazon Go would be run by AI technology but it would also have humans in the store helping with stocking and such.
It was not long after, that the company began announcing new warehouse jobs as well as the part-time positions.
Amazon’s growth as a company has also given brick and mortar stores a run for their money. As most people are turning to online shopping, in-store retailers are beginning to feel the pain in the loss of customers and sales. Many, like Payless ShoeSource, are turning to bankruptcy and others, like Sears Holdings, had to take out large loans to stay in business.
But things at Amazon aren’t as perfect as they may seem. There have been great concerns about the quality of Amazon’s job perspective that employees will be getting. In the past, Amazon has been subject to complaints as well as lawsuits related to the type of working conditions they provide as well as the inadequate wages.
However, despite all that talk, Amazon’s president of worldwide customer service, Tom Weiland, made a comment to a source saying, “There are lots of people who want or need a flexible job — whether they’re a military spouse, a college student, or a parent — and we’re happy to empower these talented people no matter where they happen to live.”
So, while many brick and mortar stores are shutting their doors, leaving their workers without employment, online retail is swelling with growth. The expansion of Amazon is bringing in hundreds of jobs and worker benefits as well as further development of AI technology. It’s safe to say that retail will never be the same.