Amazon plans to add 100,000 new US jobs

The e-commerce giant touted the boost in US hiring just eight days before President-elect Trump is inaugurated.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read

Apparently, #MAGA stands for Make Amazon Great Again.

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon is getting in the mix of US companies promoting their efforts to create more US jobs.

The e-commerce giant said Thursday it plans to create 100,000 new full-time, full-benefit jobs in the country over the next 18 months, expanding its US workforce to 280,000 -- up 56 percent from 2016.

While that's a huge number, many of these new jobs were expected. The company already revealed plans to create new warehouses in Texas, California, Florida, New Jersey and other states, with thousands of employees slated to run those new facilities.

Amazon typically talks up its plans for new warehouses around the country, but the latest announcement appears tailor-made for President-elect Donald Trump, who has made US job creation a major issue of his platform and who takes office in eight days.

Since his election victory in November, Trump has pushed US companies to keep their jobs in the United States and threatened to levy tariffs on those that leave but sell their goods back into the country. Trump promoted Vice President-elect Mike Pence's work to keep more jobs in a Carrier plant in Indiana that was slated to move to Mexico. He also congratulated Ford for abandoning a plan to build a new factory in Mexico, instead investing more in Michigan.

So far, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appears to have a testy relationship with the incoming president, having suggested Trump was eroding democracy "on the edges" by threatening to jail his political opponents. In late 2015, Trump also claimed Amazon wasn't paying its fair share of taxes, to which Bezos, who also founded the Blue Origin spacecraft company, jokingly offered to send Trump into outer space.

Despite those squabbles, Bezos did come to a meeting Trump held with major tech leaders last month.

It's unclear whether Thursday's announcement will help smooth over Trump's relationship with Bezos.

"The announcement was made after the president-elect met with heads of several other tech companies and urge them to keep their jobs and production inside the United States," Sean Spicer, the incoming press secretary, said on a call with media Thursday.

Amazon's push to increase jobs keeps up its rapid growth, aided by more people buying more stuff online. The company had 30,000 US employees in 2011, with that number exploding to 180,000 in just five years. That hiring binge stands in stark contrast to brick-and-mortar players, who've had to close stores and layoff workers as more customers migrate online.

Amazon said the new jobs will be available for all types of education and experience levels, from engineers to entry-level positions.

Amazon on Thursday also touted its ability to create jobs indirectly, saying its marketplace allows third-party sellers to list their items on Amazon.com and its Kindle platform lets authors publish their works. Even more direct hires could boost such adjacent jobs, too.

Updated, 1:22 p.m. PT: Added comments from Trump team.