Amazon adds 7,000 more UK jobs as pandemic e-commerce booms

E-commerce giant Amazon is adding 7,000 more permanent jobs in the U.K. by the end of the year

LONDON -- E-commerce giant Amazon is adding 7,000 more permanent jobs in the U.K. by the end of the year, in the latest sign that demand for online shopping and services is booming amid the pandemic.

That's on top of 3,000 new employees it has already added this year. The extra staff will raise its permanent British workforce to more than 40,000 by the end of 2020.

Retailers and other traditional industries in Britain affected by the coronavirus crisis have been forced to lay off workers, and there are fears unemployment could spike as the government phases out a salary support package.

On the other hand, surging demand for deliveries means e-commerce is a bright spot for hiring.

"This huge expansion announced in the U.K. by Amazon comes as little surprise, given the massive surge in sales the tech giant has experienced, as the e-commerce sector boomed during the pandemic," said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown.

More than 50 Amazon sites in the U.K. will take on the new staff. A new warehouse that opened in May and two more scheduled to open in the autumn will each hire more than 1,000 new workers. The warehouses, in northeast and central England, are outfitted with state-of-the-art robotic technology.

They also include teams that will pick, pack and ship customer orders, which “will help Amazon meet growing customer demand and enable small and medium-sized enterprises selling on Amazon to scale their businesses,” the company said in a statement.

It's also creating more than 20,000 temporary jobs ahead of the Christmas shopping season.