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Amazon seeks 100,000 more workers to address home shopping surge

The company’s operations have been stretched as more people stay home due to the coronavirus.

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Amazon says it needs 100,000 more workers to cope with demand as people stay home and shop online due to the coronavirus (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Amazon says it needs 100,000 more workers to cope with demand as people stay home and shop online due to the coronavirus (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Amazon says it needs 100,000 more workers to cope with demand as people stay home and shop online due to the coronavirus (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Amazon has said it needs to hire 100,000 people across the US to keep up with a crush of orders as the coronavirus spreads and keeps more people at home, shopping online.

The online retailer said it would also temporarily raise pay by $2 an hour through the end of April for hourly employees.

That includes workers at its warehouses, delivery centres and Whole Foods grocery stores, all of whom make at least $15 (£11.50) an hour.

Employees in the UK and other European countries will receive a similar raise.

“We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labour needs are unprecedented for this time of year,” said Dave Clark, who oversees Amazon’s warehouse and delivery network.

Amazon said this weekend that a surge of orders was putting its operations under pressure, and warned shoppers it could take longer than the usual two days to receive packages.

It also said it was sold out of many household cleaning supplies and was working to get more in stock.

Last week, Amazon changed its time-off policy for hourly workers, telling them they could take as much time off as they wanted in March, although they would only be paid if they had earned time off.

Amazon also said it would pay hourly workers for up to two weeks if they contracted the virus or needed to be quarantined.

The Seattle-based company said the new job openings are for a mix of full-time and part-time positions and include delivery drivers and warehouse workers, who pack and ship orders to shoppers.

Amazon is already the second-largest US-based employer behind Walmart, with nearly 800,000 workers worldwide.

PA