NEW YORK — Amazon is going on a hiring spree.
The online shopping giant is looking to fill more than 30,000 vacant jobs by early next year, and is holding job fairs in across the country next week to find candidates.
The jobs range from software engineers, who can earn more than $100,000 a year, to warehouse workers who are paid at least $15 an hour to pack and ship online orders.
Amazon said all of the openings are for full time positions and come with benefits. And the company said the openings are not related to the usual increase in hiring it does to prepare for the busy holiday shopping season.
The job fairs will take place Sept. 17 in six U.S. cities where it thinks it can find the strongest talent: Boston; Arlington, Virginia; Chicago; Dallas; Nashville, Tennessee; and its hometown of Seattle. The company is calling it "Amazon Career Day," and set up a website with more details: www.amazon.jobs/careerday.
"I encourage anyone willing to think big and move fast to apply for a job with us," said Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, in a statement to The Associated Press. "You'll get to invent and see Amazon making even bolder bets on behalf of our customers."
The job fairs are a sign of the tight job market. With unemployment near a 50-year low, employers have to work harder to fill empty positions. Recently, Amazon said it would turn to its own employees to find more tech-savvy workers, offering to retrain 100,000 employees, or a third of its U.S. workforce, and help them switch to more technical jobs, like software engineering.
The high number of job openings, which Amazon said is the most it's had at one time, shows how fast the company is growing. Started as an online bookstore more than two decades ago, Amazon now produces movies, makes voice-activated gadgets and has plans to send satellites into space to provide internet service.
It's also building a second headquarters in Arlington, which it expects to employ 40,000 people in the next several years. Amazon already has more than 650,000 employees worldwide, making it the second-biggest private employer in the U.S., after Walmart Inc.
The company hopes the hiring events will create some buzz and bring in candidates with the skills it needs. Thousands of people showed up for nationwide job fairs it held two years ago for warehouse workers.
At the hiring events next week, Amazon said about 1,000 recruiters will help candidates apply for the jobs, prepare them for job interviews and give them more information on the roles.
© 2020 Associated Press