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Amazon.com boosts holiday hiring to 80,000

Amazon.com launches a service to allow customers to haggle for lower prices.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

Amazon.com is beefing up its holiday staff with an additional 80,000 seasonal workers as the online retailer prepares for the holiday shopping rush.

The Seattle company said it is adding about 10,000 more temporary positions compared to last year to help staff the ever growing number of fulfillment and sorting centers around the country.

Amazon said it has more than 50 fulfillment centers in the U.S., and will have more than 15 sorting centers open by the end of the year. Both help ensure speedy delivery of packages, especially during the hectic holiday season. The company is also opening two pop-up shopping kiosks for the holidays in San Francisco and Sacramento.

The e-commerce giant is the latest retailer to boost seasonal hiring in preparation for the upcoming shopping season. Companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy’s are also boosting their holiday hiring.

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The jump in seasonal hiring could hit more than 800,000 workers in the last months of the year, the highest level since 1999, according to career counseling firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
The planned hires indicate that retailers are expecting a decent but not blockbuster holiday season, a crucial period in which they can bring in as much as 40% of their total annual sales. Retail sales are considered a bellwether of consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Economists say lower gas prices and a healthier job market have boosted consumer confidence. However, many experts predict that shoppers will continue to keep tight control over their spending. The Commerce Department said retail sales dropped 0.3% in September as consumers spent less on areas including autos and clothing.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi


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