At the time, U.S. Press Secretary Sean Spicer was quick to take credit on behalf of President Donald Trump for the online shopping group's decision. However, Spicer's claim is only as true as Counselor Kellyanne Conway's alternative facts. Here's why:
Amazon's 2016 Performance
The whole truth about Amazon's plans for massive hiring rests on the actual fact that the company did well in 2016 and saw a 22 percent increase in sales in the 4th quarter of the year. This increase in sales translates to $43.7 billion in earnings for Amazon — nothing to do with Trump's win but with the company's holiday season sales.
"The announcement was made after the president-elect met with heads of several other tech companies and urge them to keep their jobs and production inside the United States ... The president-elect was pleased to have played a role in that decision by Amazon," Spicer claimed on Jan. 12.
Amazon has been opening up thousands of U.S.-based jobs even before Trump won the presidential elections, and the company only seeks to continue growing its business.
Amazon would have opened up 100,000 more jobs regardless of who won in the U.S. elections. The company's official press release came out after the meeting, but it does not necessarily mean it did it for Trump.
New Fulfillment Centers, Premium Services
Amazon also opened many fulfillment centers and added premium services in 2016, and these directly translates to the company needing more people to keep services running alongside its robots. Hence, more job opportunities.
"Keep in mind we're also adding Amazon delivery capability as well as building teams around the Echo, Alexa, AWS, Prime Video and a lot of the Prime benefits that you see. But the predominant factor is still the headcount in our fulfillment area," Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said.
According to the company's press release, the company's net sales for the 4th quarter of 2016, ending Dec. 31, increased 22 percent when compared with Q4 2015, which reflected sales at $35.7 billion.
The numbers above are only for the 4th quarter, however, because the year-on-year comparison showed a net sales increase of 27 percent, from 2015's $107 billion to 2016's $136 billion.
If we take away the $550 million negative impact caused by shifting exchange rates, Amazon claims, its actual sales increase is at 28 percent.