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amazonemployeesAmazon said it added approximately 23,700 employees worldwide in the second quarter, bringing its total employment to 268,900.

Amazon’s headcount has grown by a staggering amount over the last few years. Its employment numbers increased close to 10 percent in the last three months and 47 percent over a year ago, when its employee count stood at a paltry-by-comparison 183,100 people. That’s an increase of 85,800 employees in one year — more than the entire city of Bellingham, Wash.

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky

As of the first quarter of this year, Amazon said it employs approximately 30,000 people in Washington. That represented approximately 12.2 percent of its 245,200 employees in the first quarter.

A large amount of this employee growth comes from Amazon’s operations expansion, including expanding the company’s fulfillment network, increasing capacity for programs including Amazon Prime and Fulfillment by Amazon programs, said Brian Olsavsky, Amazon chief financial officer, on a conference call with reporters Thursday. Growth in Amazon’s logistics operations, Amazon Fresh, and Prime Now are also playing a role.

“If you look at non-ops related employees — essentially everyone else — that growth rate, while strong, is below our revenue growth rate, so we are seeing some leverage,” he said.

Amazon’s headcount includes full-time and part-time workers at the company’s fulfillment centers but does not include seasonal employees.

Amazon released its second quarter earnings Thursday and said its net sales rose 31 percent to $30.4 billion, coming in at the high end of its own forecast and significantly exceeding Wall Street estimates with earnings of $1.78 per share.

The company’s cloud computing division continued to boost Amazon’s profitability. Amazon Web Services posted $718 million in operating income, or 56 percent of the company’s overall operating income of $1.29 billion for the quarter.

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