Trending: Amazon narrows HQ2 search to 20 cities, moving to next phase in contest for $5B economic prize

A sign outside of Amazon's HQ in Seattle. Photo via Matt Shobe.
A sign outside of Amazon’s HQ in Seattle. Photo via Matt Shobe.

Amazon announced today that it has 2,500 job openings between six fulfillment centers in Chester, Va., Dupont, Wash., Coffeyville, Kan., Murfreesboro, Tenn., Columbia, S.C. and Petersburg, Va.

“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,” Mike Roth, Amazon’s Vice President of North America Operations said in a press release. “Today, we’re excited to announce 2,500 full-time jobs, bringing new employment opportunities to local communities across the country.”

The new positions come at a time when the Amazon juggernaut is firing on all cylinder, with a workforce that has mushroomed in recent years.

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Those 20,000 new employees were a key part of Amazon’s employee growth in the past year. The company finished 2013 with 117,000 employees, surpassing Microsoft’s total. (Microsoft likely will reclaim the lead temporarily after gobbling up Nokia’s 30,000 employees).

While Amazon’s announcement highlighted the benefits package available to fulfillment center workers, it has been widely criticized for its labor practices. They garnered protests in Seattle last year from Ver.di, a trade union representing workers in Germany. More than 1,000 German workers, concerned that the continued protests would cause Amazon to move jobs elsewhere, signed a petition voicing their opposition to the union’s actions. In addition a small group of employees at a fulfillment center in Delaware failed to authorize Amazon’s first domestic union last month.

Protestors also paraded outside of Amazon’s headquarters on Tuesday morning, discussing a wide-range of issues.

[This story has been updated to clarify details about the fulfillment centers where Amazon is hiring.]

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