AMZN –, …

AMZN –, Inc.  

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Amazon to hire 100,000 workers as online orders surge on coronavirus worries

Like Amazon, U.S. supermarket chains Albertsons, Kroger (KR.N) and Raley’s have sought new hires to staff busy sections and fulfill online orders. They are turning to people in the restaurant, travel and entertainment businesses who are suddenly looking for work because of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus, which has led to more than 7,100 deaths globally and prompted mass lockdowns of people, has also led to items being out of stock on Amazon and some deliveries taking longer than usual. Amazon’s headcount fluctuates seasonally, recently peaking for the holiday quarter at 798,000 full and part-time workers. It was not immediately clear how many people Amazon would employ after it hires 100,000 more.

To draw new employees, Amazon said it would add $2 to its minimum $15 per hour to U.S. workers’ wages through April. The extra pay for hourly employees in North America and Europe is expected to cost more than $350 million, Amazon said. Meanwhile, other retailers facing long queues are making pitches for talent, too. It was not clear if there would be any impact on delivery operations from new government restrictions. In the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday, officials said people must stay at home except for some essential purposes, such as work for “businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences.”

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