Amazon says it’s hiring an additional 125,000 workers nationwide, and that to stay competitive in a tight job market, the e-commerce giant will also be bumping the average pay for these jobs to more than $18 an hour.
Dozens of the U.S.’s largest employers are announcing similar incentives to lure in workers. In the past year, retail companies in particular have rolled out wage hikes, college tuition coverage, and sign-on bonuses to try to one-up their rivals. (Amazon made headlines just last week for announcing it would cover tuition for 750,000 employees nationwide.)
Amazon says these 125,000 new jobs are full- and part-time roles in fulfillment and transportation, intended to help it run some 350 new fulfillment and sortation centers, air hubs, and delivery stations that will have opened in 2021 by the end of September. They also come on top of 40,000 jobs on corporate and tech side that Amazon announced earlier this month. Amazon already raised its average pay once this year, too—to around $17, back in May—so this extra dollar represents another extra 6% or so for the employees who receive it. The increase, however, does not change Amazon’s base starting pay, Amazon confirmed to Fast Company; that rate remains $15 an hour.
Amazon did add that for some of these new roles, hourly pay climbs as high as $22.50 an hour, and that certain locations are offering sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000. And an average rate of $18 an hour could still make the competition sweat—earlier this month, Walmart announced that to stay competitive in the current job market, it will be giving some 565,000 workers a raise on September 25, bringing its average hourly wage to a new high of $16.40.