UPS ($NYSE:UPS) is doing well. The shipping giant is one of many companies that benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers drove ecommerce — and the need for shipping — to new heights.
This holiday season is shaping up to be the biggest one yet, at least for online retailers and couriers. According to UPS Chief Human Resources Officer Charlene Thomas, the company is gearing up for a “record peak holiday season.” UPS is hiring over 100,000 seasonal workers to meet increasing demand, but it’s only a slight uptick from last year’s holiday hiring, which was also around 100,000 workers.
Since COVID-19 left Americans without physical stores to shop at, UPS and its main competitors, FedEx and USPS, have seen unprecedented demand. UPS has already been adding new workers, with 39,000 new jobs added in the second quarter alone, as package volume grew 23% from this time last year. UPS stock has also risen 37% year to date. It’s safe to say that the courier has had a good year, but that may change by Cyber Monday.
Amazon Prime Day, a two-day sale exclusively for the company’s Prime members, is rumored to be set for October, likely a month away from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Prime Day could kick off the holiday shopping season early, and with the pandemic’s ecommerce boom, this season could be online shopping’s biggest. According to a Salesforce report, up to 30% of holiday shopping will be made through digital channels this year.
UPS hired around 100,000 seasonal workers last year, many of which fell under the category of ops, or operations. In the run up to Black Friday last year, UPS had 9,820 ops workers. After a seasonal drop, UPS began hiring early this year, in April, but jobs are hovering around September 2019 numbers, which may not meet increasing demand.
For those looking for more permanent employment, 35% of seasonal workers at UPS tend to stay for the rest of the year. UPS is the only major unionized courier, and the pay is better than most: $21 per hour for seasonal drivers and $14.50 for seasonal package handlers. UPS is also offering new incentives for students, who may qualify for a $1,300 bonus for college expenses.
UPS isn’t the only courier ramping up hiring: FedEx announced it plans to hire 75,000 new workers, a 27% increase from this time last year. And with unemployment at 8.4%, there are far more potential workers available to help with the rush.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.