Story at a glance
- Amazon will extend permanent job offers to 125,000 workers hired during the pandemic.
- Many other businesses have been forced to lay off or furlough workers amid the recession.
After hiring a bevy of new workers to help navigate surging demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon plans to offer permanent roles to many of the employees it previously hired temporarily.
The e-commerce and tech behemoth will extend permanent job offers to 125,000 warehouse employees in June, out of the 175,000 temporary jobs hired since March. An additional 50,000 workers hired on contract positions will stay on for up to 11 months, per the company’s Day One blog.
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As many businesses have been forced to temporarily shut down operations to curb the spread of COVID-19, many have been forced to lay off and furlough employees. This has caused U.S. unemployment filings to skyrocket since March; earlier on Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that an additional 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. The full sum of unemployed Americans now composes about a quarter of the total U.S. workforce.
The new permanent positions will be considered regular, full-time roles with standard benefits and a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour.
Amazon began hiring 175,000 new employees in March, primarily to help fulfill orders pouring in as stay-at-home mandates became more common, and gave employees pay increases.
“Our employees and partners in our operations network are among the many heroes during the COVID-19 crisis,” the press release read.
The company also said it plans to invest approximately $4 billion in sanitary equipment and procedures to keep its employees healthy during the pandemic.
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