The e-commerce giant is following the lead of other large US companies that offer perks like education benefits or higher pay to entice workers in a tight labor market.
As of January 2022, Amazon said it will cover tuition, fees, and textbooks for hourly employees in its operating network after 90 days of employment. It will also begin to cover high school diploma programs, GEDs and ESL certifications for employees. Operations employees include employees of Amazon’s extensive warehouse and distribution center network.
The benefit will apply to hundreds of educational institutions across the country, Amazon said. Amazon had previously offered to pay 95% of tuition, fees and textbooks for hourly associates through its Career Choices program.
Rival retailers, including Walmart and Target, have also stepped up their education advantages in recent months. Target launched a program in August that covers the cost of associate’s and undergraduate degrees at some schools. Walmart said in July it would pay 100% of the tuition and books for Walmart and Sam’s Club associates.
As the job market has become more competitive, Amazon is increasing the incentives to attract workers. In some parts of the country, Amazon offers connection bonuses for new employees worth up to $ 3,000.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts and investors following the company’s second quarter earnings report in July that the competitive job market is driving costs up.
“We’re spending a lot of money on signing and incentives, and while we have very good staff levels, it’s not without a cost,” Olsavsky said. “It’s a very competitive job market there.
Amazon has been in the midst of a hiring wave since the start of the pandemic, employing 500,000 employees in 2020.
In May, Amazon announced the hiring of 750,000 workers in its warehouse and delivery network in the United States and Canada. The Jobs offers a starting wage of $ 17 an hour, reflecting recent wage increases, which have increased wages from 50 cents to $ 3 an hour for more than half a million of its employees operating at United States.