According to the New York Times, Amazon has 30,000 current openings across the United States. The online retailer is looking to expand its workforce of 653,000 employees nationwide. From warehouses to white-collar workers, Amazon is on a hunt for a wide variety of employees, and has announced career fairs in six major cities: Arlington, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Dallas and Seattle.
The job outlook remains particularly strong for women of color, according to the Washington Post. Minority hires outpaced white hires for the first time last year. Women, especially Latino women, are the primary driving force behind this trend.
Consider this statistic: since 2016, there are 5.2 million more people with jobs in the U.S. 4.5 million (86%) of them are minorities. There are multiple reasons for the expansion: a high demand in a tight labor market has created opportunities for women, particularly Latino women, where cultural ideas around working outside of the home have been changing. Job postings that request Spanish fluency have almost doubled in the last two years. Nineteen states and 21 cities have raised the minimum wage, according to CNBC - and higher wages are drawing new workers to the market. The other factor? Over 90% of immigration and deportation arrests are men.
“We see women entering the workforce because their husbands may no longer be in the country,” said Samantha Sherman, chief program officer at Wesley Community Center in Houston.
Other factors driving the career surge for the Latino community: 72 percent of Hispanic Americans (aged 25 and older) now have high school diplomas - a 22% increase since 2006. College enrollment among Hispanics has grown by 300% since the mid-90s. Government policy is trying to adapt, so that this trend can continue. “Our challenge now is to do what monetary policy can do to sustain the expansion so that the benefits of the strong jobs market extend to more of those still left behind,” according to Federal Reserve Chaiman Jerome H. Powell.
Small Business Shows Strong Growth
According to a recently released report from Kabbage, The Small Business Revenue Index, small business revenue grew nearly 20% from January 2018 to January 2019. Leading the growth in small business is the country’s least-populated state, Vermont - where revenues grew 118% since 2017. Based on revenue trend tracking that drew from over 200,000 small businesses, the survey results point to ongoing strength in what might be called America’s micro-jobs center. Kabbage head of Data Analytics and Strategy, David Snitkof, points to these micro-job makers as a powerful economic engine in an already-thriving economy. “This is the only tool available with an ongoing pulse on the financial health of local American small businesses, such as restaurants, hair salons, dentists, lawn care providers, boutique shops and more.” The businesses represented in the index have average revenues of less than $300,000 per year.
Opportunities for job seekers are prevalent in the current economy. Explosive growth for women of color has been driven by desire, skill and necessity. From hair salons to Amazon, companies are trying to fill the need for additional people, more resources and increased revenues. The one remaining question: how long will the trend continue?