Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, California on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
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It's a sharp uptick from last year, when Amazon said it would bring on 100,000 seasonal employees.
The employees will help pick, pack and ship orders at warehouses across Amazon's sprawling fulfillment network. The company typically beefs up its ranks in the fall to help tackle the flurry of orders that arrive leading up to the holidays, a period often referred to as "peak season."
Amazon said the jobs have an average starting pay of $18 an hour. The company will also offer a $3,000 sign-on bonus in some locations, along with an additional $3 per hour for workers in some shifts.
Amazon is dangling incentives like sign-on bonuses and free college tuition as it faces a tightening labor market. Other companies including rivals Walmart and Target have also upped their perks to lure workers.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts and investors after the company's second-quarter earnings report in July that the competitive labor market is leading to higher costs.
The company has been on a hiring spree since the start of the pandemic, bringing on 500,000 employees in 2020. It has also plowed profits back into physical expansion to grow its warehouse and logistics operations at breakneck speed across the country.
The new holiday hires come after Amazon said in September it was looking to hire 125,000 employees nationwide.