Amazon.com Inc plans to offer permanent jobs to about 70% of the US workforce it has hired temporarily to meet consumer demand during the coronavirus pandemic, the company told Reuters.
The world's largest online retailer will begin telling 125,000 warehouse employees in June that they can keep their roles longer-term.
The remaining 50,000 workers it has brought on will stay on seasonal contracts that last up to 11 months, a company spokeswoman said.
The decision is a sign that Amazon's sales have increased sufficiently to justify an expanded workforce for order fulfillment, even as government lockdowns ease and rivals open their retail stores for pickup.
Amazon started the hiring spree in March with a blog post appealing to workers laid off by restaurants and other shuttered businesses, promising employment 'until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.'
Seattle-based Amazon did not disclose how much it was spending to make the positions permanent and whether that cost would be in addition to the $4 billion it has forecast for virus-related expenses.
The permanent roles come with benefits that seasonal workers lack, such as employer-offered health insurance and retirement plans.
Amazon said it had 840,400 full and part-time staff at the end of last quarter while it still was in the process of hiring. It has not reported an updated number.