Amazon To Hire 15,000 People Across Canada And Raise Wages

E-commerce giant Amazon is hiring 15,000 new warehouse and distribution workers in communities across Canada this fall to support its ongoing expansion across the country.

At the same time, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) also announced that it is raising the starting wage for its frontline, hourly employees in Canada by 27% to $21.65 an hour from $17 an hour previously.

Existing employees will also receive an additional $1.60 to $2.20 per hour, starting immediately, Amazon said, regardless of how long they've been with the company.

Amazon currently has 25,000 full-time and part-time employees in 25 communities across five Canadian provinces. The company is growing rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting explosion in online shopping.

Amazon now has 46 warehouse, logistics and delivery facilities in Canada compared with 30 in mid-2020. More growth announcements are expected later this year, according to a company news release.

However, Amazon's expansion plans come at the same time segments of the Canadian economy are experiencing significant labour shortages. According to Statistics Canada, the country added 90,200 jobs in August.

The Canadian unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in August compared with 7.5% in July, bringing the rate to the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Other companies based south of the border, including McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) have also boosted wages to attract more applicants and keep up with a flood of customers as pandemic restrictions ease throughout Canada.

Amazon is also offering a $100 bonus for new and current employees who show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. The company dealt with ongoing outbreaks of the virus at several of its Canadian facilities throughout the pandemic.

Amazon has not mandated vaccinations for its employees.