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Amazon on pace to boast Fortune 500’s second-largest workforce

21 February 2016

From The Seattle Times:

If big boy Amazon keeps growing like a startup, it may soon employ more people than any other Fortune 500 company except Wal-Mart.

The tech and retail giant had nearly 230,800 employees at the end of 2015, not counting the 100,000 seasonal workers it hired for the holidays.

That’s a nearly 50 percent jump from the previous year. The 76,700 bump was about the size of oil giant Exxon Mobil. Or not far from the whole of Amazon in 2012, when the company had 88,400 employees.

The bulk of these new Amazonians aren’t highly paid techies in the company’s South Lake Union headquarters. Instead, Amazon says most of the growth comes from what it calls “operations,” the sprawling infrastructure that moves a growing share of the world’s merchandise in ever shorter delivery times.

Amazon’s swelling job numbers are the latest indicator of how the Internet retailer, which last year surpassed for the first time the $100 billion revenue mark, and also left Wal-Mart’s market value in its wake, has become a pivotal economic force not only in sales, but as an employer, too. The explosive growth, moreover, comes at a time when other retailers’ head counts stagnate.

“It’s an extraordinary number,” and surprising, given Amazon’s focus on robotics in its operations, says Kelli Hollinger, director of the Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies.

The jobs added by Amazon last year were equal to more than a quarter of those added by the entire U.S. retail sector in the same period, from auto dealers to department stores.

. . . .

“We’ve created tens of thousands of new jobs to meet customer demand, and we’re happy to be investing in many communities across the country,” says Amazon spokeswoman Teal Pennebaker. “We’re also excited to see so many creators and inventors using Amazon to pursue their passions and grow their businesses — authors self-publishing on Amazon, small businesses reaching millions of new customers, and startups growing quickly” using Amazon’s cloud.

Link to the rest at The Seattle Times and thanks to J. for the tip.


11 Comments to “Amazon on pace to boast Fortune 500’s second-largest workforce”

  1. So, it’s Amazon’s massive percentage of hires that gives us Obama’s skewed ravings about his “improved” jobs creation.


    • It also flags as lies the assertion that Amazon is a net minus on the economy. With a payroll north of $8B (conservatively 😉 ) they are a national jobs program all unto themselves.

      The ADSers are going to need bigger guns.

  2. I wonder is amazon opened up those five states so they can be affiliates sellers of used books and goods. Otherwise their claim of helping so many small ‘businesses’ rings not true

    Do you live in a state where amz is collecting sales taxes on your purchases? We now do, one of the five banned states, but so far havent heard if we can sell used books or not

  3. For others who may have interest, status on Calif and the other three states banned from having Associate status by Amazon for the past many years [meaning they cannot participate in commissions fr amz by selling through from their websites to amz,] I found this on amz website re Colorado. The ban on all persons who were former Associates and who along with others would like to be Associates now, was lifted 21 days ago on Colo. Amz website: “As of February 1, 2016, residents of Colorado are eligible to participate in the Program.”

    This follows something else CO buyers from Amz found out about 30 days ago. For the first time ever, sales tax to buyers domeciled in CO was added to anything they ordered.

    The term Amz uses for its commission program based on what the Associate wants to sell/promote, is Associate, which, among other things means that were one to promo a book, or audio or any other item, used or new, from one’s website for instance, and with an Amz button on one’s website– if any readers clicked through on that button to buy said item on amazon, Associate receives a commission.

    In other aspects of our business, when we keep buttons on our website for other publishers for instance, they pay us a commission on click through purchases by our readers, that is, we also receive a small monetary commission.

    In internet marketing the use of buttons to sell others’ merchandise and services is big business income for many persons who sometimes do almost nothing but– in order to underwrite their ‘other’ business which is often the art of their hearts. It is called acquiring multi-affiliate status.

    • Amazon Associates is a free advertising program designed to help website owners make money. Members send visitors from their website to Amazon websites using links, widgets, and banners we provide. When these visitors purchase products after clicking on these links, widgets and banners, associates earn advertising fees. Advertising fees are calculated as a percentage of the purchase price.

      Amazon does not have associates in certain states because those states consider a single associate within their borders to constitute a legal nexus for Amazon. Having a nexus would obligate Amazon to collect sales tax from consumers in those states. Without a Nexus, Amazon is not obligated to collect sales tax.

      However, nothing stops any individual or company in those states from selling their merchandise through Amazon.

      • Just to clarify; I was talking about visitors to one’s website using an Amazon buythrough button to purchase merchandise, via which Amz pays the website owner a small commission for each sale.

        ‘Associates’ in amz’ program were banned in five states some years back [google various news media for the story for those who didnt
        see it] to huge outcry from those who felt they were small business people with associateship part of their income streams.

        The boondoggle at the time was amz not wanting to collect sales tax for those 5 states on purchases of any kind, from amz. Strong pressure was coming from certain legislators as I understand it back then [and no doubt will come from more state legislatures, as amz collects now sales tax for colo. The states are hungry for revenues esp when they see the monied companies doing well in their own respective states regarding sales] So amz bumped off thousands and thousands of ‘associates’– saying they would not be forced to collect sales tax for those five states.

        Recently, Amz began collecting sales tax re colorado buyers, whether those sales came through associates or from amz directly. Coincidentally or not, Amz announced three weeks ago that they will now accept /re-accept ‘associates’ in their program, from colorado again.

        There were several efforts by various to use software to bypass amz’ refusal to allow associates from certain states. Amz closed them down.

        Some lawyers have suggested over the years that a person wanting to take advantage of amz program, but banned from it, incorporate for instance, in Nev. The entire has been a bone of contention amongst small entrepreneurs who are not necessarily authors. In fact, I imagine, most are not.

        The status of the other four states re amz ‘associate prog’, havent looked into yet– whether they too have been readmitted re amz suddenly collecting sales tax in those four states also.

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