Amazon to hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers amid coronavirus shutdowns

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -5.37% plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees in the U.S., according to a company spokesman, as people are turning to online deliveries at a breakneck pace to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Amazon plans to deploy the new workers to fuel e-commerce deliveries and is raising pay for these employees in the U.S. and Canada by $2 an hour through April. In the U.K., it will go up £2 an hour and approximately €2 an hour in many EU countries. Amazon currently pays $15 an hour as a starting wage to workers in its fulfillment centers around the U.S.

With the coronavirus spreading throughout the U.S. and states implementing restrictions on large gatherings, more customers are turning to online shopping for everything from grocery delivery to paper towels, cleaning supplies and daily needs. Amazon, which also owns grocery store chain Whole Foods, was one of the companies President Trump mentioned during his update on the coronavirus on Sunday. Amazon accounts for 39% of all online orders in the U.S., according to eMarketer, and is shouldering a lot of those needs.