The COVID-19 pandemic has been disastrous for many U.S. businesses and their employees. An astounding exception is the online retailer Amazon, which was uniquely positioned to deliver products to consumers who couldn't go shopping at local stores due to lockdown restrictions or concerns about coming into contact with other shoppers.
Quantifying just how much Amazon's workforce has grown puts their recent success into perspective. According to a November 2020 report by Fox Business, the company hired more than 400,000 new employees globally since January 2020, equating to over 1,000 new hires per day. The company had 1.25 million employees in the fourth quarter of 2020, doubling the previous year’s total of 647,000 workers.
Amazon's employment boom:
- New Amazon employees were hired in nearly every capacity, from entry-level positions at warehouses and distribution centers to more high-skilled jobs in tech development, finance, human resources, and marketing.
- Amazon went into 2020 as the fifth-largest employer among the companies listed in the Fortune 500. Last year’s hiring blitz will mostly likely move it into the No. 3 position, globally.
- In mid-September 2020, the company reported receiving almost 400,000 job applications a week -- that's a rate of 38 applications from job seekers every minute.