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Amazon to hire 5,500 in the Chicago area

Amazon said it needs 100,000 people at the warehouses, package sorting centers and other facilities it’s opening nationwide this month.

Packages move down a conveyor system were they are directed to the proper shipping area at the new Amazon Fulfillment Center in Sacramento, Calif.
Amazon said Monday it will be hiring another 100,000 people to keep up with a surge of online orders.
AP file

Amazon will hire another 100,000 people nationally, including 5,500 in the Chicago area, to keep up with a surge of online orders.

The company said Monday the new hires will help pack, ship or sort orders, working in part-time and full-time roles. Amazon said the jobs are not related to its typical holiday hiring.

The local hiring will be spread among seven sites: two each in Joliet and Channahon and others in Monee, Crest Hill and Wilmington, a company spokesperson said.

Amazon is building fulfillment centers in two south suburbs, Matteson and Markham. The new facilities will bring to 11 the number of fulfillment centers it operates in Illinois, most of them near Chicago. A fulfillment center is a major hub for Amazon, which also operates smaller distribution centers for “last-mile” service around the region.

The Seattle company reported record profit and revenue between April and June as more people turned to it during the pandemic to buy groceries and supplies.

The company already had to hire 175,000 people earlier this year to keep up with the rush of orders, and last week said it had 33,000 corporate and tech jobs it needed to fill.

This time around, Amazon said it needs the people at the 100 new warehouses, package sorting centers and other facilities it’s opening this month.

Alicia Boler Davis, who oversees Amazon’s warehouses, said the company is offering $1,000 sign-on bonuses in some cities where it may be harder for it to find workers, such as Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and Louisville, Kentucky. Starting pay at Amazon is $15 an hour.

Things are about to get a lot busier at Amazon’s warehouses. In addition to the holiday shopping rush, Amazon plans to hold its one of its busiest shopping days, Prime Day, in the fall this year after postponing it from July.

Amazon will be monitoring whether it needs to hire more workers for the holidays, but doesn’t have anything to announce yet, Boler Davis said. Last year, it hired 200,000 ahead of the holidays.

One company is already preparing for the spike in orders: UPS said last week that it plans to bring in 100,000 people to help it deliver packages during the holiday season.