In a move announced Thursday, online retail giant Amazon unveiled a plan to add 100,ooo new full-time jobs to the 180,000 the company currently retains in the United States. Some of the new jobs, reports The Wall Street Journal, will be at new warehouses already under construction in Texas, California, Florida, New Jersey and elsewhere.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos indicated that additional positions will be added to central operations in areas such as cloud technology, machine learning, and advanced logistics. Amazon also announced the permanent retention of thousands of recent seasonal employee hires.
“Innovation is one of our guiding principles at Amazon, and it’s created hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” Bezos told the Journal.
The announcement comes after President-elect Donald Trump adopted a softer tone with Silicon Valley executives following harsh criticism during the 2016 campaign. From The WSJ:
During the campaign, Mr. Trump had accused Amazon’s CEO of buying the Washington Post to influence politics. “If I become president, oh do they have problems,” Mr. Trump said. Mr. Bezos had been critical of Mr. Trump as well during the campaign, saying in October that the candidate’s behavior “erodes democracy around the edges.”
The announcement by Amazon is one of several such prominent job announcements in the last several weeks, including announcements Carrier and Sprint, promising to create domestic jobs, and automobile manufacturer Ford announcement that it was canceling plans for a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico in favor of domestic job investment. But other companies have felt the pinch of the new economy, with retail giants Macy's, Kohl's and others announcing massive expected layoffs in the upcoming year.
U.S. seed manufacturer Monsanto and German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG met with Trump Wednesday at his transition headquarters in New York to discuss their merger and plans to create jobs in the U.S. Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Holding Inc.’s Chief Executive also met with the Trump earlier this week with similar promises.
The U.S. has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, even though United States manufacturing output has increased in that same period. As automation replaces the need for human labor in manufacturing and service industries, displaced workers face sometimes face challenges finding work in new sectors. President Barack Obama leaves office with an unemployment rate that dropped from 9.3 percent in 2009 to 4.9 percent in 2016. However, those numbers reflect a "large number of 'discouraged workers' who have given up on looking work and have thus dropped out of the labor force," Real Clear Markets reports.