Amazon employs more than 1M people for first time in company history


Even the coronavirus pandemic can't slow down the world's largest online retailer.

On a Thursday phone call with journalists following a report on the company's financial status, Amazon finance chief Brian Olsavsky announced the shipping giant now employs more than 1 million people globally for the first time in the company's 26-year-history.

As many small businesses struggle to stay afloat amid tough COVID-19 restrictions throughout the country, Amazon ramped up production to meet the dramatic demand in online sales. Olsavsky said the company added more than a quarter million jobs in the last three months alone, bringing the total number of people employed by Amazon to more than 1.1 million.

Olsavsky noted that Amazon saved over $1 billion in travel expenses in 2020 because the pandemic brought with it restrictions when traveling by air.

“There’s some benefits going on right now,” Olsavsky said during a presentation of the company's third-quarter earnings on Thursday. “Travel ground to a halt.”

Amazon expects spending on measures to combat spread of the coronavirus in-house will cost over $4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from $2.5 billion spent in the third financial quarter of 2020.

Of private businesses in the U.S., only Walmart, which employs more than 2 million workers, has a larger workforce than Amazon.

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