Amazon is continuing its hiring spree, announcing Friday that it will hire 10,000 people in the Seattle suburb Bellevue, adding to the 18,500 people it already planned to hire across the country in the next few years.
Amazon, which is headquartered in nearby Seattle, is building multiple offices in the suburb where CEO Jeff Bezos started the company in 1994.
The tech giant is building two towers (one 27-story and one 43-story tower) and has leased an additional 2 million square feet of office space to accommodate the 10,000 hires as well as the 15,000 people it already planned to hire in the Bellevue location.
In August, the company said it would hire 3,500 people across Dallas, Detroit, Denver, New York City, Phoenix and San Diego and would invest more than $1.4 billion in new offices.
Amazon, which has more than 876,000 employees worldwide, said it has created more than 600,000 jobs in the U.S. in the last decade and spent more than $350 billion across 40 states, including infrastructure and compensation.
Amazon’s rapid expansion has not been without controversy. Last February, Amazon ditched its plans to build a second headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York when it was met with complaints from local activists and politicians, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who strongly objected to plans by the city and state to grant Amazon nearly $3 billion in tax credits in exchange for a guaranteed $27 billion in revenue for the state. Opponents argued the money should go towards subway repairs and public services instead. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) called the protests “governmental malpractice” and said, “it is irresponsible to allow political opposition to overcome sound government policy.” In December, when Amazon leased a 335,408-square-feet of office space in New York City’s Hudson Yards neighborhood Ocasio-Cortez noted on Twitter that the tech behemoth didn’t require “the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, & corporate giveaways.” According to Amazon, 2,000 of the 3,500 new jobs announced in August are allocated to New York City, where it’s opening a 630,000 square foot office in the recently acquired Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building. The company currently employs 24,000 people across the state and says it’s invested more than $7 billion in New York since 2010.
Former Amazon employee Christian Smalls, who says he was fired in March after staging a small walkout outside a Staten Island warehouse to protest the company’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, continues to organize protests around the country. According to Amazon, Smalls was fired for violating Covid-19 rules. Smalls and the Congress of Essential Workers, an employee rights organization, led a protest outside Bezos’ $80 million New York City home in August. Their list of demands included how Amazon and other U.S. corporations should protect employees during the pandemic, such as offering hazard pay, 100% paid time off for employees who test positive for Covid-19 and more transparency about Covid-19 cases among coworkers. Later that month, Amazon updated a blog post announcing public health protocols and changes the company has instituted since the start of the pandemic.
$190.4 billion. That is Bezos’ net worth according to Forbes estimates, making him the world’s richest person.
Bringing additional jobs to Bellevue (Amazon)
Amazon’s COVID-19 blog: updates on how we’re responding to the crisis (Amazon)