Amazon said Monday that it needs to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. to keep up with a crush of orders as the coronavirus spreads and keeps more people at home, shopping online.
The online retailer said it will also temporarily raise pay by $2 an hour through the end of April for hourly employees. That includes workers at its warehouses, delivery centers and Whole Foods grocery stores, all of whom make at least $15 an hour. Employees in the United Kingdom and other European countries will get a similar raise.
Amazon has more than 3,000 employees in Southeast Tennessee, including those working at warehouses in Chattanooga and Charleston, Tennessee at at the Whole Foods grocery store on the North Shore. Amazon, which also operates other Tennessee warehouses in Murfreesboro, Lebanon and Memphis, is also building another $200 million fulfilment center in Memphis this year that will hire 1,000 more workers before Christmas.
"We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year," said Dave Clark, who oversees Amazon's warehouse and delivery network.
Amazon said this weekend that a surge of orders is putting its operations under pressure. It warned shoppers that it could take longer than the usual two days to get packages. It also said it was sold out of many household cleaning supplies and is working to get more in stock.
The Seattle-based company said the job openings are for a mix of full-time and part-time positions and include delivery drivers and warehouse workers, who pack and ship orders to shoppers.
Amazon is already the second-largest U.S.-based employer behind Walmart, with nearly 800,000 workers worldwide.