• Market Crumbs

What Does Amazon's 37,000 Job Postings Say About Its Ambitions?


Image via Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

What do North Dakota, Boston and Iceland have in common? Not much, except they all have populations less than Amazon's total workforce. At the end of 2019, Amazon had 798,000 full- and part-time employees, which doesn't even include contractors.


With a global workforce that's large enough to make it the 18th-most populous U.S. city—between Indianapolis and coincidentally, Seattle, where it's headquartered, you would think Amazon has enough employees. Despite increasing headcount by more than 150,000 people last year, Amazon still had more than 37,000 job postings last week.


According to an Amazon spokesperson, that's the most job postings in 15 months and possibly, in the company's entire history. After surpassing a $1 trillion market capitalization for the second time ever last month, Amazon is continuing to invest in its future in the form of additional employees. Looking into the job postings provides some insight into Amazon's ambitions.


Not surprisingly, the job category in which Amazon has the most postings is in technology-related roles. The company has approximately 18,000 job postings in software development. Roles such as solutions architect, engineering, database administration, machine learning and data science are the most in-demand.


The next most popular job category, with nearly 6,000 job postings, is corporate functions. Jobs in this category include HR, finance and accounting, marketing and PR, legal and business intelligence. In a sign of Amazon's ability to leverage robotics in its distribution facilities, the company has less than 5,000 job postings for positions in fulfillment and operations management, which includes fulfillment/warehouse associate.


Looking at job postings by business category provides an even better insight into the company's priorities. Not surprisingly, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has more than 13,000 job postings, which represents more than 35% of the total job postings. AWS accounted for 12.5% of Amazon's total revenues and 63% of operating income in its most recent full year. Job postings relating to Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, account for more than 3,500 openings. Interestingly, Amazon, which initially was a marketplace for books when it went into business back in 1994, has 114 job postings for Amazon books.


In terms of location, Amazon doesn't appear to have any intention to turn its back on its hometown of Seattle. The company has more than 50,000 job postings in the city, making it the location with the most job postings by far. Amazon, which has recently received criticism in India, has the second-most job postings in Bangalore, India, with more than 1,400 jobs posted. Vancouver, B.C. and London, England follow Bangalore with nearly 1,000 job postings in each city.


Amazon, which has long struggled to gain traction in China, the world's second-largest economy, has only 590 job postings in the country. Amazon discontinued its e-commerce operations in China in 2009. The world's most populous country accounts for such a small percentage of Amazon's overall sales that they don't even break them out in their financial statements.


Looking at Amazon's job postings is a great way to get an idea of where the company is focusing its resources. Despite Amazon's employee count growing exponentially, it still has a long way to go to catch up to its rival, Walmart, which is the largest U.S.-based private employer worldwide with more than 2 million employees.


Leftover Crumbs

  • Another broker gets acquired. Just a few months after Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade, Morgan Stanley announced it will acquire E*Trade in an all-stock deal for $13 billion. The deal equates to a price of $58.74 per share for E*Trade, a premium of approximately 30% to its closing price before the deal was announced. The deal marks the largest acquisition by a U.S. bank since the financial crisis. "E*TRADE represents an extraordinary growth opportunity for our Wealth Management business and a leap forward in our Wealth Management strategy," said Morgan Stanley chairman and CEO James Gorman. "In addition, this continues the decade-long transition of our Firm to a more balance sheet light business mix, emphasizing more durable sources of revenue."

  • A long fall from grace. Private equity firm Sycamore Partners is acquiring a 55% stake in Victoria's Secret, which was once a dominant force in the lingerie industry, from L Brands for $525 million. Les Wexner, founder of L Brands, will step down as CEO and chairman once the deal closes. "I think about the endless possibilities ahead for this company. And I’ve thought about where I fit in the picture. In keeping with this same thoughtful examination, I have decided that now is the right time to pass the reins to new leadership," wrote Wexner in a company memo.

  • Did you stay at an MGM hotel? MGM Resorts confirmed the data of more than 10.6 million guests has been posted to a hacking forum. The personal information of celebrities, tech CEOs, reporters and government officials are among those in the data dump. "Last summer, we discovered unauthorized access to a cloud server that contained a limited amount of information for certain previous guests of MGM Resorts," MGM told ZDNet. "We are confident that no financial, payment card or password data was involved in this matter."

  • It's for the children. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging the tech giant is violating the privacy of students who use Chromebooks that have been provided to schools for free. "Student safety should be the number one priority of any company providing services to our children, particularly in schools," said Balderas. "Tracking student data without parental consent is not only illegal, it is dangerous; and my office will hold any company accountable who compromises the safety of New Mexican children." Balderas is not stranger to taking on Google, as he has a separate ongoing case against the company for alleged violations of COPPA provisions. He is also part of the group of 50 state attorneys general conducting an antitrust probe into Google.

  • Knock, knock. If you're a high earner and haven't paid your taxes, you can expect a visit to your home by the IRS. Over the next two months the IRS will visit 800 high-income individuals who haven't paid their taxes in 2018 or earlier, with thousands more expected by the end of the year. The IRS estimates billions in tax revenues are being lost from those who earn more than $100,000 not filing. "These visits are primarily aimed at informing these taxpayers of their filing and paying obligations and bringing these taxpayers into compliance," according to an IRS news release.