Amazon is pursuing its usual pre-holidays hiring ramp-up, even as it ramps up the number of e-fulfillment centers that will welcome most of those employees.
Earlier this week, news broke of two new e-fulfillment centers in Florida and another in Baltimore, which among them will create 2,000 jobs.
In July, the company announced it was creating more than 5,000 jobs across its fulfillment network, which in the year up to that point had grown by eight locations. At that time — a whole three months ago — Amazon employed over 20,000 full-time employees in its US fulfillment centers, and had openings at 17 of them.
On Oct. 1, the company said it is creating more than 70,000 full-time seasonal jobs across its US fulfillment centers this holiday season in order to meet an increase in customer demand — a 40-percent rise over last year.
In 2012, Amazon converted thousands of seasonal employees into regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and expects to do the same this year, said a company release. On average, seasonal employees earn 94 percent of Amazon fulfillment center employee starting wages and are eligible for health care benefits. And that median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores — not counting the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9 percent to base pay annually.
“So far this year, we have converted more than 7,000 temporary employees in the US into full-time, regular roles, and we’re looking forward to converting thousands more after this holiday season,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, on Oct. 1. “Each year, seasonal jobs lead to thousands of long-term, full-time roles in our sites — jobs that offer great pay, benefits starting on day one and the chance for employees to further their education through our Career Choice program.”
Here’s how that works: Amazon will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Amazon will pre-pay an eligible employee’s tuition up to $3,000 per year or up to $12,000 over four years. Since the program’s launch last summer, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.
Since the start of the financial recession in September 2008, Amazon has added more than 40,000 jobs in the U.S. across all parts of the company.
Jeff Bezos’ company is contributing in different forms throughout its home city, where Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry’s Bezos Center for Innovation launched Oct. 12, 2013, thanks to his $10 million.
Amazon’s 1.8-million-sq.-ft. campus in South Lake Union (pictured), developed by Vulcan Real Estate, was a finalist this year for the Urban Land Institute’s Global Awards for Excellence, which will be announced early next month at ULI’s fall meeting at Chicago’s McCormick Place Nov. 5-8.
Integrating public plazas with LEED-certified buildings and amenities such as dining, bike storage, Zip Cars, and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as easy access to public transportation, the South Lake Union project created 4,000 construction jobs and thousands of permanent jobs in Seattle, and will generate an estimated $9.5 million in new tax revenue annually. In addition, the project has spurred expanded transit services throughout the neighborhood and generated $5.7 million for affordable housing.
Amazon is pursuing its own construction of another development in the city’s Denny Triangle area, where the layout will include three office towers and three biodome-like greenhouses.
Projects from Amazon, in fact, are so varied and rapidly paced they can be hard to track — even in Seattle alone. So we asked the media relations firm working with Vulcan if a comprehensive list was available to give us a complete picture. That list appears below.
Amazon Seattle Space Take Down History
|Building/Location||Type||Status||Announcement Date||Move-in Year||Office SF|
|Amazon Phase IA||Developed by Vulcan and sold to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2007||2010||315,514|
|Amazon Phase IB||Developed by Vulcan and sold to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2007||2010||113,889|
|Amazon Phase II||Developed by Vulcan and sold to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2007||2010||158,333|
|2201 Westlake||Developed by Vulcan and leased to Amazon||Occupied||1Q2010||2010||180,000|
|Amazon Phase III||Developed by Vulcan and sold to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2007||2011||237,320|
|Amazon Phase IV||Developed by Vulcan and sold to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2007||2011||543,627|
|1918 Eighth||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Occupied||1Q2011||2011||460,000|
|Amazon Phase V||Developed by Vulcan and sold to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2007||2012||333,386|
|West 8th||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Occupied||3Q2011||2012||280,000|
|1260 Mercer||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Occupied||4Q2011||2012||106,000|
|202 Westlake||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Under Construction||3Q2012||2013||110,000|
|1800 9th||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Move-in imminent||1Q2013||2013||100,000|
|Metropolitan Park North||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Move-in imminent||2Q2013||2013||140,000|
|224 Westlake Ave N (Athletic Supply)||Non-Vulcan - leased to Amazon||Move-in imminent||2Q2013||2013||18,000|
|Amazon VI||Under construction by Vulcan and leased to Amazon||Under Construction||4Q2012||2014||368,000|
|Denny Triangle 1||Under construction by Amazon||Under Construction||1Q2012||2015||1,000,000|
|Amazon VII||To be built by Vulcan and leased to Amazon||Planned||1Q2013||2015||299,900|
|Amazon VIII||To be built by Vulcan and leased to Amazon||Planned||1Q2013||2015||301,500|
|Denny Triangle 2||To be built by Amazon||Planned||1Q2012||2016||1,000,000|
|Denny Triangle 3||To be built by Amazon||Planned||1Q2012||2018||1,000,000|
Altogether, once current projects are moved into by 2018, the company will have occupied more than 7 million sq. ft. of space in Seattle since 2007 via 20 separate projects, half of them involving Vulcan.
The completion timing for two of the three towers Amazon is developing itself is an estimate, and will depend on Amazon’s growth trajectory.
Here’s how that growth trajectory has been going: Amazon, all of 18 years old, as of the second quarter this year had 97,000 full-time and part-time employees worldwide, up 40 percent from 69,100 at the same point in 2012.
Its second-quarter sales were up by 22 percent year-over-year, to $15.7 billion. However, free cash flow for the 12 months ending June 30 was down, owing mainly to “fourth quarter 2012 cash outflows for purchases of corporate office space and property in Seattle, Washington, of $1.4 billion.”
Its third quarter guidance, released in July, said net sales were “expected to be between $15.45 billion and $17.15 billion, or to grow between 12 percent and 24 percent compared with third quarter 2012.”
The company will hold its third quarter financial results today, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
The Site Selection Online Insider keeps a strong and steady finger on the fast-changing pulse of corporate real estate and economic development. This web exclusive content gets to the heart of the new projects and developments that everyone wants to know about, now. And telling those stories well is part of the Insider's commitment.