Amazon announces U.S. hiring spree

Trump takes partial credit

Amazon announces U.S. hiring spree
A worker gathers items for delivery from the warehouse floor at Amazon's distribution center in Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 22, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph D. Freso/File Photo

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Inc. on Thursday said it plans to create more than 100,000 jobs in the United States, from software development to warehouse work, becoming the latest company to boast a hiring spree since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November.

The world's largest online retailer will grow its full-time U.S. workforce by more than 50 per cent to over 280,000 in the next 18 months, it said in a press release.

Amazon is spending heavily on new warehouses so it can stock goods closer to customers and fulfill orders quickly and cheaply. The new hires, from Florida to Texas and California, will be key to the company's promise of two-day shipping to members of its Amazon Prime shopping club, which has given it an edge over rivals.

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said hiring was expected. "Amazon continues to meaningfully grow above e-commerce rates and continues to take share from traditional retailers," he said.

The e-commerce giant said in October it would add 26 fulfillment centres in 2016, mostly in North America. More are under construction.

The new jobs will extend beyond Amazon's Seattle headquarters to communities across the United States, CEO Jeff Bezos said in the release. Amazon did not break down what share of jobs would go to corporate roles versus fulfillment work.

A spokesman for Trump's transition team gave the president-elect partial credit for the announcement.

"The president-elect met with heads of several of the tech companies and urged them to keep their jobs and production inside the United States," spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters.

Job creation has become a hot-button political issue since the Nov. 8 election. Ford Motor Co. last week reversed plans for a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and said it would add 700 jobs in Michigan after receiving criticism from Trump.

The President-elect on Wednesday said he will be "the greatest jobs producer that God ever created."

Trump previously had criticized Amazon during his campaign, saying the technology giant did not pay its fair share of taxes.

Amazon shares were up less than one per cent in early afternoon trading.

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