Amazon plans hiring boost for high schools amid labor shortage: report

Amazon is reportedly planning to hire high school seniors to fill its warehouses as it competes with other companies for workers in an extremely tight job market.

The e-commerce giant will begin its hiring drive next month — with company officials touting Amazon’s perks and benefits at schools across the US and Canada. The push comes as a consortium of unions claimed Amazon has a poor worker safety record, which Amazon said in a statement to The Post it is working to improve.

The company’s high school recruiting efforts include appearances by Amazon recruiters on hundreds of high school career days and a focus on supporting college degrees offered to workers. The information reports citing a person briefed on the plan.

Amazon and other companies are scrambling to increase hiring as the economy restarts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But tight working conditions have complicated the task, with the US jobless rate hovering at just 3.6%, according to the latest jobs data.

In March, there were more than 5 million vacancies more than available labor to fill the vacancies.

Amazon competes with big retail rivals like Walmart and Target, which are also increasing benefits to attract new workers.

Amazon warehouse
Amazon employs more than 1.6 million people worldwide.
AFP via Getty Images

Amazon officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the recruitment campaign. However, a company employee confirmed the plans in a statement to The Information.

“We are always looking for great employees and [we] are proud to be an employer of choice for high school seniors,” Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Campos told the outlet.

The high school recruitment campaign is the largest of its kind for Amazon — which has suspended similar efforts for the past two years due to safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon hinted at a need to hire more employees in its fourth-quarter earnings release in February, with CEO Andy Jassy noting that the company saw “higher costs due to labor shortages and inflationary pressures” in the holiday quarter, which is expected to continue into 2022 .

Amazon warehouse
Amazon is facing increasing pressure over its labor practices.
AFP via Getty Images

The latest recruiting campaign will unfold as Amazon faces mounting pressure to improve its workplace practices. Earlier this month, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island became the first in the company’s history to unionize after a long campaign of organizing at the facility.

The industrial action succeeded despite strong opposition from Amazon, which has called for the election to be annulled. The effort was also supported by President Biden, who warned “Amazon, here we come” while supporting organizers.

Meanwhile, the injury rate at Amazon warehouses rose 20% in 2021 — despite pledges from company leaders to improve security measures at the facilities. According to the Strategic Organizing Center, Amazon is responsible for about half of all warehouse injuries in the United States.

Amazon said in a statement to The Post that the company has hired tens of thousands of employees to meet unforeseen demand stemming from COVID-19.

“Like other companies in the industry, we have seen an increase in reportable injuries during this 2020-2021 period because we trained so many new employees – however, compared to 2021 and 2019, our reportable injury rate has decreased by more than 13% year-on-year year,” said Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel.

Amazon employs more than 1.6 million worldwide – a total of about 750,000 hourly workers in the US. Last month, the company announced it was working with more than 140 colleges to offer fully-funded tuition to its hourly staff.

The company’s goal is to convince high school students to work their camps during the summer break — and then reap the benefits to earn a degree even if they might not otherwise have expected to go to college.

The e-commerce company also increased its average hourly wage for warehouse workers to $18 last fall. Additional benefits for full-time employees include medical, dental, and eye care, as well as a 50% equity 401(k) agreement. Amazon plans hiring boost for high schools amid labor shortage: report


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