Should You Take a $15-an-hour Amazon Warehouse Job?
Postal Service, Target, UPS, Nordstrom, Walmart also hiring tens of thousands
Unemployment benefits could be running out for many of the 33 million Americans who’ve been laid off, had their hours slashed or otherwise lost ground to the pandemic. Landlords are suing to overturn the evictions moratorium. And rather than quietly die off — and signal a return to more normal economic times — the coronavirus has spread more rapidly in recent weeks.
If you’re struggling financially, and have been unable to find work in your chosen field, should you consider a warehouse or delivery job, either a seasonal holiday gig or something longer-term? There are hundreds of thousands of openings.
If you’re at high risk for the virus, probably not, as you’d be working in an enclosed space inevitably near other people. Since the pandemic’s start, some 20,000 Amazon workers have been infected. Given the company’s giant U.S. payroll of more than 600,000, that’s not noticeably different than the national infection rate: 9 million Americans so far, out of a population of about 330 million. But still.
And the work isn’t easy. Google the phrase “What's it like to work in an Amazon warehouse?” and you find a variety of news articles, videos and reports whose descriptions range from hellish to not so bad. Know this: The only reason humans are working in these warehouses is that companies haven’t yet been able to program robots to do the varied tasks. The pace is rapid and demanding.
Some jobs end right after the holidays. Others turn into permanent roles. So consider, which of these companies, or the Postal Service, you’d prefer to work for longer term if that’s a goal. Already this year, Amazon has made offers of permanent jobs to some 125,000 temporary hires, added to help the company cope with increased demand.
Here are five companies looking to hire seasonal workers immediately:
Positions available: 100,000 warehouse jobs across the U.S. and Canada, plus 33,000 corporate and technology jobs.
Location: Roles available in 40 U.S. states, including California, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Pay: At least $15 an hour, plus signing bonus up to $2,000 in states including Utah, Tennessee and Kentucky. Benefits available for full-time employees.
How to apply: Amazon.com/apply
What you need to know: The positions listed now are permanent roles designed to replace or supplement seasonal work, as the company prepares to open 1,000 new warehouses.
Positions available: 22,000 seasonal employees across fulfillment and distribution centers as well as in Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores.
Location: Around the country, including in Florida, New York and California.
Pay: Not disclosed. Holiday premium of up to $3 per hour. Benefits on offer include medical, vision, dental, retirement and paid time off.
How to apply: Nordstrom Workday
What you need to know: Roughly 20% of seasonal hires transition to a full-time position each year, according to a company statement.
Positions available: In excess of 130,000 full-time and seasonal warehouse jobs. The company intends to double employees in distribution, according to a company statement.
Location: Positions available in every U.S. state, with large numbers of jobs in California, Texas and Florida.
Pay: Starting at $15/hour, with coronavirus health and wellness benefits.
How to apply: TargetSeasonalJobs.com
What you need to know: No indication of the possibility of permanent work. The company has a waived absenteeism policy for coronavirus-related illness, including two weeks’ quarantine pay and confirmed illness pay.
Positions available: Over 100,000 full- and part-time seasonal positions, primarily as package handlers, drivers, driver-helpers and personal vehicle drivers. Flexible shifts available.
Pay: From $11.50/hour, according to Glassdoor estimates, plus healthcare and retirement benefits.
How to apply: UPSjobs.com
What you need to know: Some 123,000 people — over a third of past seasonal hires — landed permanent jobs at UPS, according to the company. The company is conducting remote interviews to fill positions fast.
Positions available: At least 20,000 seasonal positions in fulfilment centers, working as warehouse assistants and power equipment operators.
Location: Positions available in California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Pay: Between $15.75 and $23.75 an hour, depending on location. No benefits advertised.
How to apply: Walmartcareers.com/seasonal
What you need to know: Walmart hopes to fill these roles fast: Seasonal employment will begin immediately upon hiring, according to the company, with shifts scheduled as quickly as two days from your application. Contracts will terminate Jan. 1, 2021, with “the opportunity to convert to regular employment ... in many instances,” according to a company statement.