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Amazon Needs Seasonal Workers So Badly It’s Offering $3,000 Bonuses
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Amazon Needs Seasonal Workers So Badly It’s Offering $3,000 Bonuses

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Amid a record-setting labor shortage, chaos in the supply chain and the ongoing pandemic, Amazon is hiring 150,000 people for the holiday season. Unprecedented times apparently call for unprecedented measures: To fill those jobs ASAP, Amazon is offering $3,000 bonuses and paying over $20 an hour.

The company announced Monday that 150,000 roles are now open in the U.S. “for people of all backgrounds and skill levels.” That’s an uptick from 2020, when Amazon brought on 100,000 seasonal employees to cope with the boom in online shopping, and from last month, when it said it was planning to hire 125,000 people.

But Amazon is not the only company desperately looking for help ahead of a holiday season that could see Americans spend more than normal. Part-time seasonal employees have the upper hand this year, forcing retailers to dangle job perks and pay raises before prospective workers.

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Amazon seasonal jobs

In a news release, Amazon said the average pay for all U.S. jobs — seasonal roles included — starts at $18 per hour, with a chance to get an extra $3 an hour depending on when and where you work. (“Early morning, evening, overnight and weekend shifts pay more,” according to the website.) Jobs also have sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000.

“Seasonal employees are essential to how Amazon delivers for customers, doing important, rewarding work, while earning income flexibility before the end of the year,” added Amazon, which delivered 1.5 billion packages over the 2020 holiday months.

Poking around on Amazon’s jobs site, it’s not hard to find roles eligible for the maximum amount of money. Open jobs are labeled with bright blue boxes that spell out the bonus associated with each position.

For example, a regular Amazon Delivery Station Warehouse Associate who works in Edison, New Jersey, from 1:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Saturday through Tuesday can earn $20 hourly, score a $3,000 bonus and receive an extra $3 an hour through Jan. 1.

Other job listings have more restrictions. Signing on as a seasonal Fulfillment Center Warehouse Associate in Baltimore, Maryland, only pays $17 per hour and comes with a $1,000 bonus. The bonus is paid in installments, and employees have to start before Nov. 21 to qualify.

The money may sound enticing, but remember: Amazon has a reputation for its high-pressure, brutal and sometimes unsafe working conditions. It’s also previously made sweeping changes to warehouse workers’ bonus structures around holiday time.

However, Amazon has a lot of influence when it comes to setting a wage floor that competing employers are pressured to match. The company has also repeatedly used financial motivators to get people back to work during the COVID-19 crisis. In June 2020, it doled out $500 million in “thank you” bonuses to frontline employees and contractors (though some only got $10 coupons). This past May, it said new hires who share proof they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus could receive $100. A handful of vaxxed workers have scored even bigger prizes (like a car).

With that in mind, you should make sure you have the full picture before you apply for a seasonal role. Read our tips here.

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