Why Amazon’s workforce is exploding

The speed at which Amazon is hiring people increased dramatically last quarter. Here is a graph from Jan Dawson from Jackdaw Research:

The first chart is the total number of Amazon employees, which includes both full-time and part-time employees, but excludes contractors and temporary personnel, of which Amazon hires many each holiday season:

Amazon Employees

For an even clearer picture let’s have a look at quarter-on-quarter growth:

Quarter on quarter net employee growth

The reason for this as explained by management on the earnings call are the 14 new fulfillment centers Amazon added this year, bringing the total to 123 globally. Amazon staffed these new centers earlier than in the past in preparation for the holiday season.

Amazon’s workforce compared to Apple’s by Jan Dawson:

Amazon added 72,900 employees over the last 12 months, which is around 80% of Apple’s total workforce, for comparison’s sake.

As Amazon is going further into logistics (necessary for Fresh, Prime Now and more) the speed will only increase at which it will build up not just fulfillment centers but a complete1 logistics infrastructure in North America and Europe. Which is to say the headcount will probably go even faster up over the next quarters.

It’s yet another sign of a company heavily investing in its future.


  1. More or less ‘complete’ as there is a tremendous opportunity for local delivery companies willing to partner with Amazon. 
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