Looks like they can’t build those new office towers soon enough.

Amazon.com added 9,400 employees to its payroll in the quarter ended March 31, according to numbers released along with its financial results this afternoon. That’s the biggest single quarter of headcount growth in Amazon’s history, according to data compiled by GeekWire.

The company now employs 65,600 full- and part-time workers worldwide.

With its current trajectory, Amazon is rapidly approaching Microsoft in size. Microsoft employs more than 93,000 but hasn’t been growing as quickly as in the past. More than 40,000 of Microsoft’s employees are in the Seattle region; Amazon doesn’t break down its employment by region. Neither company’s figures include contractors or temporary workers.

However, Amazon made it clear that its employment won’t be growing at this pace forever.

“It will moderate at some point, certainly, but given the growth we’re experiencing right now we’re investing and we’re making sure we have the right resources to do that,” said Amazon’s chief financial officer, Tom Szkutak, answering a question from an analyst during a conference call this afternoon.

Szkutak said the “vast majority” of the growth over the past quarter came in operations and customer service, as Amazon brought on former temporary workers on a permanent basis.

Previously: Amazon’s big quarter: Sales up 34%, profits beat expectations

Comments

  • Ballard_Fisherman

    Is that just for one quarter?

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Yes, that’s correct, 9,400 additional employees in one quarter. Amazon went from 56,200 people at the end of Q4 2011 to 65,600 at the end of Q1 2012.

  • Guest

    Amazon is growing nearly 5x faster than MS. So the difference in relative headcount growth is somewhat understandable.

  • umeshunni

    These statements contradict each other:
    >> The company now employs 65,600 full- and part-time workers worldwide.

    >>  Neither company’s figures include contractors or temporary workers.
    Which is it?

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Actually, those statements are all correct. Here’s the rough breakdown.
      Full-time employees work directly for the company on a permanent basis. Part-time employees work directly for the company on a permanent basis, less than 40 hours a week.
      Contractors work indirectly for the company, through third party agencies. Temporary workers work for the company for short-term periods, such as seasonal workers.

      • umeshunni

        Ah, so this figure is permanent full and part-time employees. 

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