Amazon says it plans to hire thousands of new warehouse employees following a "significant" increase in workload and demand for online delivery services amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the company said it planned to hire around 100,000 new employees and called the current surge in orders brought on by the global outbreak "unprecedented."
Amazon's current starting wages are $15 an hour at its warehouse and fulfillment centers according to the Journal. The company plans to raise pay for those workers in the U.S. by $2 an hour.
“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” wrote Amazon's senior vice president of operations, Dave Clark, according to the Journal.
The company previously said Sunday that its supply lines were facing stress as a result of the outbreak, leading to delivery delays and items possibly going out of stock.
“In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories,” Amazon said in a blog post. “We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders."
Clark was also one of more than a dozen grocery, retail and food industry executives who was on a phone call with President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE over the weekend to discuss efforts to keep Americans supplied with necessities amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected thousands in the U.S. and more than 170,000 worldwide.
"Supply chains in the United States are strong, and it is unnecessary for the American public to hoard daily essentials. The President thanked the executives for their close partnership and pledged to stay in close communication," White House spokesman Judd Deere said of the call.