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.
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“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.