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Amazon Will Hire 70,000 New Employees, Despite Decrease in Overall Holiday Hiring

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The world's largest online retailer is hiring 40% more seasonal employees than last year, though overall hiring may decrease by as much as 11%.

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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has said that it will hire more than 70,000 full-time seasonal employees to staff its order fulfillment centers for the holidays this year. The company has 88,400 employees, so 70,000 new employees is obviously a huge jump; it represents a 40% increase from last year's full-time seasonal employment.

Additionally, Amazon has converted 7,000 temporary employees to full-time employees this year, and plans to make a good portion of the incoming 70,000 permanent staff as well. Said Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, "We're looking forward to converting thousands more after this holiday season."

Retailers typically hire seasonal employees as the year comes to a close in order to handle the heightened sales that comes with the holiday season. These seasonal employees mostly work in stores or distribution centers to help fulfill online orders.

Despite Amazon's 70,000 new jobs, overall hiring may be lower this holiday season. On September 24, CNBC reported that retailers will hire 11% fewer holiday workers this year, predicting a more difficult sales environment. The outplacement consulting organization Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. has predicted the number to be closer to 6.9%, citing shaky consumer confidence. All this being said, last year's holiday hiring reached a 12-year high and was up 14% over 2011 numbers.

Additionally, Deloitte has reported that non-store retail sales are forecast to jump as much as 13% as they continue to surpass overall retail sales growth, reflecting the growing online and mobile shopping market. Amazon is obviously a beneficiary of the growth in online sales, as it is the world's largest online retailer.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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