Amazon.com Inc.’s global workforce surged almost 75% during the pandemic to help keep up with torrid demand, and the e-commerce giant is still facing shortages of workers, particularly in the U.S.
The company’s latest quarterly results underscored the magnitude of Amazon’s hiring since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, with the number of employees increasing by 628,000 to more than 1.4 million from March 2020 to September this year.
In spite of its process utilizing technology in its warehouses, the Seattle-based company needs more labor. It is actively recruiting, including more than 150,000 people in the U.S. to handle the surge in holiday shopping.
To find workers in the tight U.S. job market, Amazon has increased salaries. The average starting wage is now over $18 per hour, with an additional $3 depending on shifts in many locations, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said on an earning call with analysts.
Labor shortages have hit the bottom line, along with global supply chain bottlenecks. They will continue to weigh on profit this quarter, Amazon said.
“In the fourth quarter, we expect to incur several billion dollars of additional costs in our consumer business as we manage through labor supply shortages, increased wage costs, global supply chain issues, and increased freight and shipping costs,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said in a news release.
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