Online retail giant Amazon has said it plans to create more than 4,000 jobs in the UK this year.
It said the move, which would include roles in new warehouses in Wakefield and Knowsley, would make it one of the UK’s top ten private sector employers.
The jobs will be permanent and bring the company’s total UK staff to 75,000.
It comes after the company created 2,500 UK jobs in 2021 as the Covid pandemic boosted a shift towards online shopping.
Amazon also opened four new warehouses across the UK in 2021.
People were shopping more online before the pandemic, but lockdowns and Covid restrictions gave that a boost – including home deliveries of groceries bought online.
Amazon’s thousands of new UK roles will be split between warehouse work, corporate work in London and Manchester, and technology work in Edinburgh and Cambridge.
“We’re continuing to invest in talent right across the UK, from apprentices in Swansea to data scientists in Edinburgh,” said John Boumphrey, Amazon UK country manager.
But the company has faced criticism in the past about working conditions for employees, and about its response to workers wanting to unionise to negotiate better pay and working conditions.
The first Amazon employers union’ was created in its Staten Island hub in New York in April 2022 after a hard-fought battle.
Other Amazon sites continue to seek unionisation, including in Garner, North Carolina and Campbellsville, Kentucky.
The company currently has warehouse it calls “fulfilment centres” in Bolton and Swansea, and says it will continue to create roles away from London and city centres.
The company added that it estimates more than 85,000 British small and medium-sized businesses sell on Amazon, which “support an additional 250,000 jobs across the UK”.
“This means Amazon will have created 40,000 new jobs in the UK in the past three years,” the company said.
“Amazon has invested billions of pounds across the UK, enabling it to be one of the UK’s most significant job creators in recent years”.
The online giant previously announced the creation of 1,500 new apprenticeships in 2022.
The announcements come at a time when companies are jostling to hire staff, as the number of roles available outstrips the number of people available to fill them.