Amazon has announced that it will be offering 2,000 permanent contract positions in France this year. France is the third largest European market for the company after Britain and Germany. With this addition, the company’s total headcount in France will increase to 7,500 by the end of 2018. The hiring also projects the company’s faith in France’s economy, as Amazon has invested over 2 billion Euros since 2010.
“The French economic context gives us confidence and encourages us to invest,” Frederic Duval, head of Amazon France, said in an interview. “We have more customers, so more business, and as we have more business, we hire more. We think this level activity is sustainable, thus we’re hiring people with permanent contracts.”
In 2016, the company started its Amazon Prime Now express delivery service in Paris. At this time, the company has five logistics centers throughout the country, and in the near future, they plan to open a 142,000-square-foot delivery warehouse, denoting a steady development in the country.
Amazon was in a long-standing dispute with French tax authorities; the reason behind this dispute was that the authorities were asking close to 200 million Euros from Amazon. The dispute was settled this month. Duval stated that there is no connection between this settlement and the company’s decision to create more jobs in France. “That problem is now settled, and we no longer have any dispute with the state in this matter,” he said.
Until now, France has been an arduous market for American companies. The labor laws are quite rigid, a challenging hurdle for companies to hire and fire workers. Their prescribed working week is 35 hours per week.
President Emmanuel Macron assured that he will make it easier for foreign businesses to function in their country. Macron wants to relax the labor market and also cut taxes. He has already provided liberty to the companies and the workers to negotiate working conditions. This expansion by Amazon corresponds with this renewed optimism by the French.