business news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that Amazon "is planning to hire 55,000 people for corporate and technology roles globally in the coming months," according to CEO Andy Jassy.

That’s equal, the story says, "to more than a third of Google’s headcount as of June 30, and close to all of Facebook’s.

"Jassy, in his first press interview since he ascended to Amazon’s top post in July, said the company needed more firepower to keep up with demand in retail, the cloud and advertising, among other businesses. He said the company's new bet to launch satellites into orbit to widen broadband access, called Project Kuiper, would require a lot of new hires, too."

At the same time, Reuters reports that Walmart plans "to hire 20,000 workers at its supply chain division ahead of the busy holiday season as the world's largest retailer and other major rivals battle a logistics and labor crunch.

"The roles, a mix of part-time and full-time jobs ranging from freight handlers to lift drivers, will be offered at 250 Walmart and Sam's Club distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices, the world's largest retailer said."

The story also notes that Dollar General is "looking to hire more workers at stores and distribution centers as well as truck drivers.  The discount chain, which has hired more than 50,000 employees since mid-July, is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus to drivers as it expands its private fleet."

KC's View:

This is all happening at the same time as retailers are having to increase wages for employees.

For example, CNBC reported that Walmart "is raising the hourly wages for more than 565,000 store workers by at least $1, as the retail industry faces a tight labor market going into the holiday shopping season … Walmart’s minimum wage will rise to $12, from the $11 hourly base it set in 2018. However, that is lower than the $15-per-hour minimum rate at rivals Target and Amazon."

This all may level off as jobless benefits end, and pandemic (hopefully) recedes, and people are able to get back to work.   The pendulum does move, and eventually it will yet again be a buyers' market.  But I think businesses would be well advised to see these dollars as an investment, not a cost.  If the people being hired can be treated and empowered in a way that makes them feel as if they are invested in the businesses for which they work, all these dollars could add up to better working environments that result in better shopping environments.   That ought to be the bottom line goal.