Amazon tops 1M U.S. staff

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Amazon has surpassed 1 million direct employees in the United States for the first time, a new milestone that reflects the rapid expansion of its distribution network across the nation — and yet doesn’t come close to capturing the full scope of the workforce that revolves around the e-commerce giant in states around the country.

The company last week quietly updated the “Investing in the U.S.” map on its About Amazon site with new state-by-state employment numbers as of the end of 2021, offering a new chance to analyze trends in its U.S. job growth.

State-by-state employment Amazon employment totals as of the fourth quarter of 2021, compiled from Amazon’s “Investing in the U.S. page.

Amazon employs a total of 1.1 million people in the U.S, up 18% from 935,000 a year earlier, according to GeekWire’s calculations, using new and past data from the site.

Globally, Amazon topped 1.6 million employees as of the end of 2021, up 24% year-over-year, according to the company’s fourth quarter earnings report.

The numbers do not include people who work for Amazon indirectly, such as the drivers who deliver packages as employees of independent companies in Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSP) program. Worldwide, the company says there are more than 260,000 drivers working for 3,000 DSP companies.

Amazon’s overall growth is all the more remarkable given the broader U.S. labor shortage. Amazon said costs were about $4 billion higher than normal in the fourth quarter due to labor expenses, supply chain constraints and inflation.

Much of the expense comes from higher wages and other costs in company’s logistics and distribution network, but Amazon this week said it’s also more than doubling max base pay for tech and corporate workers.

Here are a few of our takeaways after crunching Amazon’s latest jobs numbers.

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Amazon gets even bigger in California. The Golden State surpassed Washington state for the first time a year ago as the largest state for Amazon employment, and the company continued to grow steadily in California last year. Amazon now employs 170,000 people in California, up 11% or 17,000 employees year-over year.

Washington state slips to number three. Amazon’s employment in Texas jumped during the past year by 25,000 people, or 36%, to 95,000 employees as of the end of 2021. With the surge, Amazon employment in Texas moved ahead of Washington state, with 85,000 reported employees, up by 5,000 people from a year earlier.

Only a few states remain for Amazon expansion. Five years ago, at the end of 2016, there were 18 states where Amazon didn’t report measurable employment. Three states are left on the list: Alaska, Wyoming and Vermont.

North Dakota registered the biggest percentage gain in Amazon employment. Amazon employment in the state is up 800% over the past year, to a total of 900 people. The company opened its first fulfillment center in North Dakota in September, a 1 million-square-foot facility in Fargo.

Amazon is growing at a faster rate internationally. Amazon employment outside the United States rose by more than 140,000 people year-over year, or 39%, to more than 500,000 people, by our calculations.

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Perl Beam

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