Online giant Amazon said it plans to hire 150,000 temporary and seasonal workers this holiday season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Amazon announced Monday it plans to hire 150,000 temporary and seasonal workers for the holidays, and is seeking to entice them with $3,000 signing bonuses.
The jobs, including positions in stowing, picking, packing, shipping and more, will be available in "hundreds of cities and towns" across the United States, company officials said in a news release.
This year's level of seasonal hiring is 50% higher than in 2020, when Amazon said it would add 100,000 temporary workers for the holidays, reflecting soaring customer demand for e-commerce.
Amazon and other large employers in the United States have implemented new perks and higher wages in recent months to attract employees, particularly amid worker shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are proud to be offering a huge range of full-time, part-time, and now seasonal jobs with great pay and benefits," said Alicia Boler Davis, the online giant's senior vice president for global customer fulfillment.
"Our seasonal hiring helps us deliver on our promises to customers while also providing flexibility to our full-time employees during busy periods."
To lure new workers during an extraordinarily tight job market, Amazon is offering an average starting pay of $18 per hour -- $3 per hour more than its minimum wage -- signing bonuses up to $3,000 and an additional $3 per hour for some shifts and locations.
In offering higher wages and other benefits, the company is seeking to match similar moves made by competitors.
Costco in February raised its hourly minimum wage to $16 for U.S. employees, while Target hiked its minimum wage to $15 last year.
Walmart announced last month it is increasing wages for some 565,000 retail workers by $1 ahead of the holiday buying surge, bringing its average hourly rate for store workers to $16.40.
Meanwhile, consumer spending continued to rise more than expected in September, jumping 0.7% from the previous month to $625.4 billion.