Amazon is hiring 80,000 temporary workers this coming holiday season. The temporary job placements have seen an increase of 14 percent from 2013's hiring spree of 70,000 seasonal workers. Two years ago, the online retail company hired only 50,000.
The additional workers will be assigned in the Amazon network of fulfillment and sorting centers. At these places, employees would be sorting, sifting, locating, packing and shipping millions of orders.
Amazon said that the company has over 50 fulfillment centers in the U.S. It plans to open at least 15 additional "sortation centers" towards the end of 2014. At the centers, workers would sort packages by their ZIP code and have them transported to U.S. Postal Service offices.
The sorting centers have allowed Amazon to offer other services such as tighter control over shipping logistics, an extended cutoff order time, and Sunday delivery.
Amazon has been rapidly increasing its network of fulfillment centers in recent years as it aims to lead the ecommerce race against competitors like Wal-Mart and Target. So far, it has converted over 10,000 seasonal workers into full-time employees this year. The company plans to do the same seasonal-to-full time employee conversion scheme after the holidays.
Amazon disclosed that as of June 30, it has 132,000 full-time and part-time workers globally. The number does not include seasonal staff.
Amazon's seasonal job postings show wage offers that range from $10 to $11.50. For regular and full-time fulfillment center workers, the average wage is about $12.
Experts are predicting that the upcoming holiday season will bring in a significant increase of sales through online shopping. The National Retail Federation forecasts an increase of eight to 11 percent in online sales for the months of November and December this year.
Rival companies are also accepting seasonal hires for the holidays. Last month, Wal-Mart announced that it is adding 60,000 temporary workers, showing an increase of 10 percent from 2013.
Target and GameStop are also beefing up their seasonal workforce by adding 70,000 and 25,000 temporary workers respectively.
Major package-shipping companies are also preparing for the holidays. FedEx will add 50,000 temporary workers while United Parcel Service plans to add 95,000 seasonals.
Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, hopes to avoid the problems that came up in last year's holiday season. Some orders placed as late as Dec. 23 have been guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas. There were some that weren't delivered. Amazon and UPS apologized for the failure.