Amazon is highly touting the 100,000 full-time jobs it will create in the US over the next 18 months, perhaps to signal its value to President Trump, who has made this issue central to his early days in office.
In its Q4 earnings press release, Amazon put this plan as its No. 1 highlight in a list of almost 40 items. Amazon’s last earnings release mentions jobs near the bottom of a similar list, and does not tie them to the US, while none of the three earnings releases before reference job creation at all.
In a previous statement about the US jobs, Bezos stressed that a lot of them would be in “local communities,” not just Amazon’s home turf of Seattle or Silicon Valley.
“These jobs are not just in our Seattle headquarters or in Silicon Valley — they’re in our customer service network, fulfillment centres, and other facilities in local communities throughout the country,” Bezos said. That sounds like something that would please Trump, though some analysts have posited that most of the jobs will be highly skilled tech positions.
Not smooth sailing
Bezos, and Amazon, have had a rocky relationship with Trump.
During Trump’s campaign, Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, called Trump out for his accusations of mainstream media bias. Bezos said Trump was “eroding our democracy,” and suggested that Trump take a trip to space instead.
On the other side, Trump repeatedly criticised Bezos and Amazon.
“I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence, and I gotta tell you, we have a different country than we used to have,” Trump said during his campaign. “He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”
But when Trump won the election, Bezos sent a note of congratulations on Twitter.
“Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump,” Bezos wrote. “I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.”
Bezos then met with Trump in December.
Here was Bezos’ statement afterward the meeting:
“I found today’s meeting with the president-elect, his transition team, and tech leaders to be very productive. I shared the view that the administration should make innovation one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech — agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing — everywhere.”
But, like many tech CEOs, Bezos has come out swinging against Trump’s immigration order.
Now Amazon is reminding shareholders, and likely Trump as well, how valuable Amazon could be to the US economy, and to jobs specifically.
Additional reporting by Eugene Kim.