Amazon to Hire 10,000 Jobs After U.K. Emerges from Lockdown
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. will hire 10,000 more people in the U.K., taking its total headcount in the country to 55,000 by the end of 2021 and making the ecommerce giant one of few big employers adding jobs during the pandemic.
It comes a day after the world’s largest online retailer said it’s hiring 75,000 workers for its sprawling North American logistics operation, a sign that the company expects increased demand to outlast the pandemic. The Seattle-based tech giant hired some 500,000 people last year, putting its total headcount at 1.3 million at the end of March.
The 10,000 new jobs, on par with Amazon’s additions in the U.K. last year, will primarily be in fulfillment and parcel reception centers, but also include roles in fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, software development, cloud computing and AI, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The new jobs will be a boost for the labor market as the U.K. emerges from its deepest slump in three centuries. The crisis has led to the loss of more than 800,000 payrolls and left more than 4 million employees reliant on government wage support. Job vacancies jumped by 16% in March alone ahead of the reopening of non-essential stores.
Amazon said the pay for operations roles will start at 10.80 pounds ($15.20) per hour in London and 9.70 per hour in the rest of the U.K. The national living wage in the U.K. for people over the age of 23 is 8.91 pounds per hour.
Amazon has come under fire for how it’s treated workers, particularly warehouse and delivery staff who became frontline workers during the pandemic. Strikes and protests have become more common since the Covid-19 outbreak began, even in the U.S. where attempts to unionize have been unsuccessful.
New employees are entitled to private medical insurance, life insurance, income protection and an employee discount, worth about 700 pounds a year. The jobs will be in corporate offices across London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge, as well as roles in Amazon Web Services and operations.
U.K. business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed the announcement, calling it a “huge vote of confidence in the British economy.”
Amazon announced last month that it would offer raises to more than 500,000 of its hourly workers, spending $1 billion on pay bumps to increase hiring at its logistics division. The increased wages follow Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos’s comments to shareholders that the company would work “to do a better job for employees.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.