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Amazon Aims To Add 100 New Facilities This Month And Staff Them With 125,000 Hires

E-commerce giant Amazon is gearing up for a predicted robust holiday sales season by adding to its already-sizable number of warehouse and distribution facilities. Just this month, the company will add 100 facilities, on top of the 250 it has already opened this year, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Amazon plans to open at least seven new Massachusetts facilities in 2021.

To go along with the new facilities and forecasts of a busy holiday season, Amazon is also expanding its workforce, with plans to hire an additional 125,000 workers nationwide. To facilitate such a large number of hires, the deep-pocketed Amazon says it will offer an average starting wage for those jobs of more than $18 per hour and as much as $22.50 per hour in some places.

As recently as May, Amazon paid warehouse and transportation workers an average of $17 per hour. The company will also offer signing bonuses of $3K to some of those workers, or triple what the company offered four months ago, Reuters reports.

“Who has the highest willingness to pay for labor? We’re seeing that play out in real time,” Georgia Institute of Technology economist Alexander Oettl told the WSJ.

Other major retailers are raising pay as well. Walmart recently raised its average hourly wage to $16.40 and committed to paying college tuition for workers. Walgreens Boots Alliance said it is raising its minimum to $15, effective in October. 

Though a lot of people lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, not as many are looking to return to their old jobs. There are now more job openings than people looking for work, and wages rose 3.2% year-over-year for the 12 months ending in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Benefit costs for that period were up 2.2% as well.