Amazon to Hire 70,000 Seasonal Workers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Amazon ( AMZN) is hiring an extra 70,000 workers in its U.S. fulfillment centers to help handle what it hopes will be the upcoming holiday shopping crush. The online retailer announced it is creating 40% more full-time seasonal jobs this year than it did one year ago.

Amazon stock is advancing 1.43% to $317.10 at 11:11 am in New York.

Amazon is facing increased online shopping competition from Walmart ( WMT) and eBay ( EBAY) is currently expanding the number of its regional warehouse across the country. The plan is to speed deliveries for all items and to possibly roll-out a rumored nationwide grocery delivery service.

Amazon says last year it was able to convert more than seven thousand seasonal workers into regular full-time roles after the holidays and "expects to do the same" this year as well.

On average, seasonal workers earn 94 percent of full-time fulfillment center employees starting salaries and are eligible for health care benefits. Full-timers can also take part in 401(k), stock and continuing education programs.

This morning Walmart announced it is expanding its fulfillment center network for online orders. The company is building two new warehouses. The 800,000 square foot Fort Worth, Texas operation opened last month and employs 275. The Bethlehem, Pa. center will be "more than one million square feet" and employ more than 350 full-time "associates" when it opens in the first quarter of 2014.

Walmart currently operates more than 4,000 retail stores located within five miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population as well as 130 distribution centers.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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