February 12, 2014, 1:06 PM

Amazon puts out a big help wanted ad for warehouse workers

The e-retailer wants to hire 2,500 full-timers total for six distribution centers.

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Help wanted ads rarely deserve much attention, but the rules are different with Amazon.com Inc. The No. 1 e-retailer in North America, as measured by the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, says it wants to hire 2,500 full-time workers for its growing warehouse network across the United States.

Amazon says it will hire for picking, packing and shipping jobs in warehouses in the following six locations: Chester and Petersburg, VA; Coffeyville, KS; Columbia, SC; Dupont, WA; and Murfreesboro, TN. An Amazon spokeswoman says the e-retailer employs more than 40,000 full-time workers in its fulfillment centers.

“Last year, we hired more than 20,000 people into full-time jobs across our U.S. fulfillment centers, with more than half starting as seasonal employees,” says Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations. “Today, we’re excited to announce 2,500 full-time jobs, bringing new employment opportunities to local communities across the country.”

Amazon does not break down exactly how many U.S. fulfillment centers it operates, though earlier this month, during the e-retailer’s Q4 financial results conference call, chief financial officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon increased the number of warehouses it operates by seven last year. He said the square footage of the e-retailer’s distribution centers rose by more on a percentage basis as it consolidated older, smaller facilities into new ones. A spokeswoman last fall said the company expected to have close to 50 distribution centers in the U.S. at the end of last year, and that as of October it operated 89 worldwide.

Amazon has 54 U.S. distribution centers in the U.S., says Scot Wingo, CEO of online marketing firm ChannelAdvisor Corp., a number that’s been steadily rising as Amazon seeks to move inventory closer to consumers so it can offer fast delivery at a lower cost. Amazon increased its spending on fulfillment by 29% in the fourth quarter.

Earlier this year, maintenance technicians in Amazon’s fulfillment center in Middleton, DE, voted against joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). As a result, the world’s largest e-retailer continues to have no unionized workers in the United States.

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