PHOENIX — Those who are looking for a little extra cash over the holidays are in luck: Internet shopping giant Amazon said Thursday it plans to hire more than 5,000 people in the Phoenix area to meet holiday demand.
Amazon said the jobs will be spread across its four fulfillment centers and one sortation center in the Valley.
The Arizona hires will be part of 120,000 people that Amazon is looking to bring on nationwide for the holiday season.
“We love serving customers during the busy holiday season and we’re excited to bring on more than 120,000 seasonal employees this year to support growing customer demand,” Mike Roth, Amazon vice president of global customer fulfillment, said in a press release.
This year’s hiring marks a 20 percent boost from the 100,000 seasonal hires a year ago.
The move comes as online shopping growth continues to eclipse shopping at traditional stores. The National Retail Federation, based in Washington, D.C., is forecasting holiday sales for the November and December period to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion, much better than the 3 percent growth seen in the year-ago period. Online shopping is expected to rise 7 to 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.
After production problems in 2013 caused some people to get packages after the holidays, Amazon has been pouring money into its distribution centers and logistics chain, opening new distribution centers and leasing its own planes and trucks to speed up delivery.
At the end of July, the company said it has 123 distribution centers globally and more than 23 sorting centers, with plans to have add 21 new global fulfillment centers by the end of September; at the same point in 2015, it had added only 10.
Last year, the company said it transitioned 14,000 seasonal positions to regular, full-time jobs and it expects to boost that figure this year.
By contrast, brick-and-mortar stores holiday hiring has been relatively flat from the prior year.
Macy’s plans to hire about 83,000, Kohl’s Corp. plans to hire 69,000 additional workers and Target Corp. says it will hire more than 70,000, all about even from a year ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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