Amazon Looking to Add 5,000 Warehouse Workers

A blog about business and economics.
July 29 2013 4:26 PM

Amazon Looking to Add 5,000 Warehouse Workers

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What's cooler than $1 million? Hiring a bunch of people.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As the Amazon juggernaut trundles forward, the company is looking to fill 5,000 job openings at 17 warehouses with more vacancies likely to come as more warehouses open.

Life as an Amazon warehouse worker seems none too pleasant, with the company's very efficient shipping and very low prices built on the back of a fairly ruthless labor regime. But more so than for your average low-wage employer, I give Amazon credit. This is a company that is genuinely operating with ultralow margins (in fact losing money over the past couple of quarters) and is genuinely adding staff at a rapid pace. If more American companies acted like Amazon and plowed their surpluses into new investment and expansion rather than looking to boost quarterly earnings to goose share prices, we would have a much lower unemployment rate, and employers of all kinds would have far less leverage over their workers. At a time when joblessness remains sky-high despite record corporate profits, there's something refreshing and admirable about Amazon adding thousands of workers despite zero-to-negative profits. We need more companies that have this kind of eagerness to seize growth opportunities.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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