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GeekWire notes that "Amazon has surpassed 1 million direct employees in the United States for the first time, a new milestone that reflects the rapid expansion of its distribution network across the nation — and yet doesn’t come close to capturing the full scope of the workforce that revolves around the e-commerce giant in states around the country."

The story goes on:

"Amazon employs a total of 1.1 million people in the U.S, up 18% from 935,000 a year earlier, according to GeekWire’s calculations, using new and past data from the site.

"Globally, Amazon topped 1.6 million employees as of the end of 2021, up 24% year-over-year, according to the company’s fourth quarter earnings report.

"The numbers do not include people who work for Amazon indirectly, such as the drivers who deliver packages as employees of independent companies in Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSP) program. Worldwide, the company says there are more than 260,000 drivers working for 3,000 DSP companies.

"Amazon’s overall growth is all the more remarkable given the broader U.S. labor shortage. Amazon said costs were about $4 billion higher than normal in the fourth quarter due to labor expenses, supply chain constraints and inflation.

"Much of the expense comes from higher wages and other costs in company’s logistics and distribution network, but Amazon this week said it’s also more than doubling base pay for tech and corporate workers."

KC's View:

One of the repercussions of this growth, especially because it comes at a time when a lot of people are struggling with staffing issues, is that Amazon is having to spend more in terms of wages and benefits to attract and keep people.  (Not nearly enough, according to some.  But that's a different story.)

This means that enormous pressure is being placed on smaller businesses in order to keep up with the Amazonians … they have to increase their labor spending as well, but are not as well-resourced, and so it puts pressure on them from an entirely different angle.

I'm not sure what you can do about this, but one has to acknowledge that it is a reality at the moment, increasing competitive pressures even in unexpected ways.