NEW YORK, NY -- Amazon is on a hiring spree. The company is looking to hire 100,000 workers, with many of them located in the New York area, specifically on Staten Island.
Most positions, which are full-time jobs with benefits, are for work in fulfillment centers, at a time when millions of Americans are still facing job losses under the pandemic.
On the other hand, retailers are planning for ways to get shoppers through their doors this holiday season. With in-store shopping expected to decline 25 percent due to the pandemic, stores are turning to buy online pick-up in store, or "BOPIS."
Whole Foods is even offering a "BOPIS" option with a free one hour pickup window for Amazon Prime members. In addition, Target is starting reservations for in-store shopping to avoid long lines while Walmart is extending shopping hours.
In Simi Valley, California, Amazon looking to install a new warehouse and delivery station. The local planning commission is recommending that the Simi City Council approve a conditional-use permit to allow the applicant to re-purpose an existing office facility formerly used by Bank of America.
Greenlaw Partners wants to turn the 290,000 square foot building into an Amazon delivery station. City Council members are tentatively scheduled to consider the project at its November meeting. The station is expected to create some 300 local jobs.
Meanwhile, last month demonstrators marched to Jeff Bezos' Beverly Hills mansion in protest.
The labor and environmental activists were on a mission to lobby for higher wages, the right to unionize and reforms in the way the e-commerce giant handles the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rally was led by Chris Smalls, a former Amazon employee from Staten Island, New York. Smalls was fired by the Seattle-based company last March after he helped organize a work stoppage at Amazon's warehouse to protest what he called a lack of protective gear and hazard pay for workers.
Amazon said Smalls was terminated for "violating social distancing guidelines and putting the safety of others at risk." The demonstrators are calling for a $2 dollar an hour hazard pay increase, free child care and health care and other demands.
In general, job growth is slowing significantly in the final monthly jobs report before Election Day. The economy adding 661,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent. Those 661,000 jobs are less than half the nearly 1.4 million created in August.
September marks the fifth straight month of jobs growth but the nation has recovered only a little more than half the jobs lost to the coronavirus pandemic.