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Amazon plans job fair for hiring spree Wednesday in Ky., other states

Amazon's massive facility in northern Kentucky is one of several holding a job fair Wednesday as the company plans to hire thousands of people ahead of the holidays.

HEBRON, Ky. - Amazon's massive facility in northern Kentucky is one of several holding a job fair Wednesday as the company plans to hire thousands of people ahead of the holidays.

Amazon wants to bring the new employees aboard before other retailers hire them for the upcoming holiday shopping season, according to Tuna Amobi, an equity analyst with CFRA Research in New York.

The company plans to make thousands of job offers in just one day as it holds a giant job fair at nearly a dozen warehouses across the U.S., including the one in Hebron.

"I think what is even more remarkable is that a lot these employees are going to be full time," Amobi said. "You know usually we don't see that many full-time employees get hired by any one company so I think it also speaks to Amazon's strategic vision as to its underlying confidence that its business is going to continue to grow and that's why its keeping a lot of these hires as full time so I think it's pretty remarkable."

Amobi said a shortage of workers, plus Amazon's rapid growth, is also a likely reason why the company is trying to scoop up workers quickly. The hires will help the company build out its infrastructure, capability and logistics.

Those offered jobs on the spot will pack or sort boxes and help ship them to customers.

Nearly 40,000 of the 50,000 jobs will be full time. Most of these jobs will count toward Amazon's previously announced goal of adding 100,000 full-time workers by the middle of next year.

The hiring spree is yet another sign of Amazon's massive growth at a time when traditional retailers are closing stores and cutting jobs.

Retailers are facing a tighter job market; the nation's unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, near a 16-year low.

Amazon has long been known for investing the money it makes back into its businesses.

Part of that involves opening new warehouses, or fulfillment centers, and filling them with employees. Consequently, Amazon has often reported quarterly losses, even as revenue grows.

The number of full-time and part-time workers at Amazon has swelled from 56,000 at the end of 2011 to more than 340,000 last year. In roughly the same period, the number of people employed by the parent company of Sears and Kmart has been slashed in half to about 140,000 workers.

Amazon.com Inc. said its jobs offer health insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings plans and company stock. Pay differs based on location, according to job postings on Amazon's site.

It is offering a starting rate of $13 an hour for a full-time job in Baltimore and $12.25 an hour for a similar position in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The job fair will take place from 8 a.m. to noon and will include tours and sessions with company representatives. Job prospects will also be introduced to robots and other automation technology Amazon uses at its warehouse operations.

The event will take place in Hebron and nine other Amazon shipping sites.

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