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Amazon.com Inc. plans to keep most of the U.S. jobs it added to meet demand in March and April as housebound Americans turned to online deliveries.
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Amazon said Thursday it will give 125,000 of those 175,000 temporary workers the option to stay on full time, signaling that it expects the recent growth to continue. The company said the jobs will supplement its total U.S. count, which it recently put at more than 500,000.
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As companies across industries have shed millions of jobs during the pandemic, Amazon, Walmart Inc. and others that provide essential goods have been among the few adding workers. Most, however, were temporary hires.
U.S. unemployment surged to a record 14.7% last month, and payrolls dropped by a historic 20.5 million workers, wiping out a decade of job gains in a single month.
“Like other companies, we brought those individuals on in seasonal roles to meet a surge in demand and, for many, there was the hope of returning back to their previous companies once states began to reopen,” Amazon said. “Some may choose to return back to their pre-Covid job and others may choose to stay at Amazon in seasonal roles or part-time roles.”
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Amazon began its hiring spree in March after customers sheltering in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus flooded it with orders for toilet paper, food, household products and other necessities.