Amazon’s growth shows no sign of slowing down.
The company’s quarterly earnings report today shows Amazon blowing past the 100,000-employee mark with 109,800 full-time and part-time employees on its books worldwide as of Sept. 30. That’s an increase of more than 12,000 employees from the second quarter.
In fact, Amazon now has a larger direct workforce than the region’s other tech giant, Microsoft — whose employee count also moved into six figures for the first time in the recent quarter, with 100,518 employees worldwide.
It’s not a perfect comparison. Amazon’s employment number includes not just those developing and supporting its products, but also employees fulfilling orders in its warehouses, which makes its workforce different than many traditional tech companies.
Neither Microsoft nor Amazon includes temporary or contract workers in its public employee count.
Amazon has more than tripled in size over the past three years, and rising headcount costs are one of the reasons that the company is operating in the red. Earlier today Amazon reported its second straight quarterly loss.
Its meteoric rise in employees is driven in part by expansions in its warehouse network, which has been growing around the country. The company has been opening new warehouses left and right, including one in Tracy, Calif., which may be the site of the expansion of its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area, and plans to open more domestic warehouses this year.
Amazon has also been working hard to expand fulfillment overseas, including its rapidly-expanding marketplace in India. One of the company’s strengths is its ability to rapidly deliver goods that customers order, so it’s no surprise that Amazon is looking to build on its employee base in that way.
Apart from its warehouses, Amazon is expanding its presence in its hometown of Seattle, with a new campus in the works on the northern edge of downtown. Amazon doesn’t disclose the number of people it employs in the Seattle region. Microsoft has just under 43,000 people in the region.
Blair Hanley Frank is GeekWire’s Bay Area Correspondent. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.