Will its massive jobs announcement change public perceptions of Amazon?
Jan 13, 2017
Amazon.com hasn’t always gotten the best press when it comes to its work environment. As with Walmart in the past, the e-tail giant has been criticized as well for putting other retailers out of business and killing jobs. So, will yesterday’s announcement that Amazon plans to create more than 100,000 new full-time jobs with full benefits over the next year-and-a-half begin to change negative perceptions of the company?
In a press release, Amazon said its workforce grew from 30,000 in 2011 to 180,000 at the end of 2016. The company expects its numbers will climb to 280,000 by the middle of 2018, making it among the largest employers in the U.S.
“Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it’s created hundreds of thousands of American jobs. These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley — they’re in our customer service network, fulfillment centers and other facilities in local communities throughout the country,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, in a statement.
Mr. Bezos said that jobs will be created as Amazon opens new fulfillment centers while investing in “cloud technology, machine learning and advanced logistics.”
Based on news accounts, President-elect Donald Trump is taking credit for Amazon’s decision.
Sean Spicer, the incoming White House Press secretary, said a recent meeting that Mr. Trump had with leaders in the tech industry, which included Mr. Bezos, set the stage for companies to create jobs at home.
“The president-elect was pleased to have played a role in that [jobs] decision by Amazon,” Mr. Spicer said.
Perhaps a more likely explanation is that Amazon internally forecast its job hiring needs long ago, but is taking advantage of the prevailing political environment.