Amazon's Hiring: Why Seasonal Work Is So Solid This Year

Several companies plan to increase their seasonal workforce from 2013 after snafus caused widespread delivery delays and criticism.
Posted at 1:31 PM, Oct 16, 2014

The holiday hiring boom just welcomed a heavy hitter to its ranks. Amazon has announced it'll bring on workers at a level that would make the e-commerce giant responsible for about one tenth of the seasonal workforce.

A press release says Amazon not only plans to create 80,000 seasonal jobs, but it also turned 10,000 part-time holiday workers into full-time employees with benefits last year, and it "expects to do the same this year." (Video via Amazon)

That follows the general employment trend as we make our way closer to December.

Researchers at Challenger, Gray & Christmas expect seasonal hiring to reach the largest numbers we've seen in 15 years, "significantly outpacing" last year's 786,200 hires.

It's no coincidence why we're seeing some of these hires make headlines, either.

FedEx, UPS and Amazon all caught heavy criticism in 2013 for late Christmas deliveries. UPS, specifically, reneged on its plan to scale back seasonal hires when business surged. (Video via ABC)

But by the time the parcel service got the workers it needed in place, the delivery delays were a foregone conclusion.

Not surprisingly, UPS has also announced a seasonal hiring increase for this year.

Interestingly, Target scaled back its hiring last year to focus more on online operations, dropping seasonal employees by 20 percent. That apparently worked. The big-box retailer plans to do the same this year.

Money cites a survey showing 49 percent of people plan to order gifts earlier this year, mostly because of last year's delays.

Money's Brad Tuttle says that's a solid strategy: "Hopefully, the additional hires made by UPS will help ease the shipping problems of a year ago, but it's smart for shoppers to play it safe by ordering well in advance."

This video includes images from Getty Images.