Is Amazon playing nice with Donald Trump?


Online retail titan Amazon, which is among the United States’ biggest employers plans to increase its workforce by the middle of 2018 from 180,000 to 280,000. It created more than 150,000 jobs in the U.S. for the past five years, expanding its workforce in 2011’s 30,000 to more than 180,000 in 2016. It announced on Jan. 12, Thursday, through a press release, to create another 100,000 jobs over the next one and a half years.

The announcement followed a month after U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump met with the heads of tech companies on Dec. 14, 2016 in New York, asking them to have their production and jobs within the country. Businesses started to feel the political pressure of creating more jobs in the country since Trump was declared the presidential winner. It was because Trump and the U.S. tech firms were not the best of friends.

Trump criticized business practices in Silicon Valley during his campaign. He wanted a stop to Apple’s phone manufacturing in China and claimed Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 to influence Washington politicians so his company can avoid paying taxes, which Amazon denied. Trump thought Bezos has something to with the publication’s nasty articles so he would lose the election. Amazon and most tech companies openly supported Hillary Clinton.

While tech companies had been anxious about the next administration’s plans, the December 2016 tech meeting with Trump was a striking shift for both ends. The incoming administration wants to put behind clashes during the campaign period and both sides agreed to switch into a constructive mode and enhance business climate. The group planned to meet every quarter.

Trump added Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk as well as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to his business adviser team. He likewise said he spoke to Apple which plans to build a huge manufacturing facility in the U.S.

Then comes Amazon’s splashy announcement of 100,000 additional jobs. While it was in good timing, it is not an unusual thing for a rapidly expanding company like Amazon. Nothing has really changed at the company, an analyst told CNBC.

It is a way to fix clashes between Bezos and Trump, but if one looks at the retail titan’s track record, it has grown their workforce anywhere between 35 to 45 percent, managing director and global head of internet and media equity research, Youssef Squali told “Closing Bell” on Jan. 12, Thursday.

Amazon has more than 40,000 employees in Washington; 10,000 in Texas; 14,000 in California; 10,000 in Kentucky; while Florida has 4,000 and New Jersey has 11,000. Building another fulfillment centers across the country promises additional hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Amazon’s new job opportunities are for people with education, skill levels and experience – from software developers and engineers to job training and entry-level positions. To be filled up are spots in the new centers in states like Texas, New Jersey, Florida, California and other states.

Furthermore, the company’s businesses like Amazon Flex and Marketplace will continue creating jobs for people across the country who want to work part time or start their own business. The company also has an innovative “Career Choice” program which pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for degrees in high-demand jobs, such as computer-aided design, medical lab technologies, aircraft mechanics, nursing and machine tool technologies.

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