Amazon made an unexpected announcement Monday that's truly good news all around.
But the top beneficiary might just be President Donald J. Trump.
The online-slash-everything giant revealed Monday that it currently has 30,000 unfilled jobs in the United States, everything including (as the company said in a statement) things like:
- entry-level roles at Amazon's fulfillment centers
- software development engineer positions
- computer vision scientists, and
- literally thousands of other positions
That's a lot of open jobs. We'll address how Amazon wants to fill them (and how to apply should you or a loved one be interested), below.
It's worth stepping back first to explore what the idea of adding 30,000 new Amazon employees to the labor rolls would mean.
122 months of nonstop growth
A few days ago, we saw the August jobs report. It was okay, but short of expectations, with about 130,000 jobs added versus the 150,000 that had been anticipated.
The unemployment rate has been falling pretty steadily for nearly 10 years. Over the summer, we set the record for the longest economic expansion in American history.
We're now up to 122 months, going way back to the early days of President Obama's first term. Almost everyone outside of the administration is warning that time is running out, and a recession may be coming.
Before we go further, this is absolutely NOT a news article in which the author secretly hopes for a recession. My family and I are doing just fine economically, and I would love for the current economic conditions to continue.
Also, regardless of who you may be rooting for in the presidential election in 2020, it's absolutely the job of the current administration to be a cheerleader for the economy. But, expansions don't last forever.
Separate from that, but also true: President Trump's odds of being reelected are a lot better if we stay out of a recession through November 2020.
And one of the warning signs of a recession would be disappointing jobs numbers.
Unfortunately, people who looked at those August numbers noticed that even though they were mildly disappointing, they were also propped up by the fact that the Census Bureau recently hired 25,000 temporary workers.
Without those government jobs, the news would have been a lot worse.
Enter Amazon. I reached out to the company today to ask how quickly it plans to fill all the jobs; if I hear back I'll update this post.
But let's use a reasonable guess that Amazon hopes to fill 15,000 in October and 15,000 in November.
Each month, that would represent a giant infusion of private sector jobs into the employment statistics.
If 25,000 Census Bureau jobs was enough to stave off a real "red flashing light" in numbers reported in September, these Amazon jobs could be enough to give the economy an infusion of good news through the end of 2019.
And that's amazing luck for President Trump.
By the way, Amazon insists that these 30,000 jobs are in addition to the increased seasonal hiring it always does before the holiday shopping season.
"Amazon has created more than 300,000 new jobs in the U.S. over the last decade - and we're proud to continue investing and creating opportunities for people across the country," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. "These are jobs with highly competitive compensation and full-benefits from day one, as well as training opportunities to gain new skills in high-demand fields such as robotics and machine learning."
Let's drill down on the jobs involved, where to find them, and where to apply.
The easy way of course is simply to go to amazon.jobs. Searching for just "United States" there pulls up 19,819 job listings. Of course, many of these, like "Truck Associate" paying $15 an hour, or "Warehouse Team Member" have multiple openings.
So the 30,000 figure seems legitimate. More than half of those 19,819 jobs are in the Seattle area (10,077 as of last night anyway), home to Amazon's original headquarters.
Many others are in California or in the Arlington, Virginia area, where Amazon is building its second headquarters. There are 590 job listings that are labeled "Work from Home."
Additionally, Amazon is holding Career Day events in six cities on September 17 to try to fill these jobs: Arlington, Virginia, along with Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, and Seattle. For more information or to register for an event, you can check out the Amazon website.