Amazon employs over 4,000 full-time workers in Wisconsin

Amazon employs more than 4,000 full-time workers in Wisconsin, and the company estimates over 5,500 jobs have been created indirectly in recent years, thanks to its presence in the state.

After announcing plans for a Kenosha fulfillment center in 2013, Amazon opened it in 2015 with some 1,000 employees.

Since then, the company’s Wisconsin presence has grown.It has: two fulfillment centers in Kenosha; three facilities in Milwaukee — a Prime Now hub, an Amazon Fresh site and a delivery station; and Madison headquarters for Shopbop, an online retailer that Amazon acquired in 2006.

Amazon says its investments between 2014 and 2017 have added $1 billion to the state’s economy.

Gov. Scott Walker is touting the milestone, saying “The Wisconsin Comeback is real!”

“The fact that Amazon more than tripled its initial job-creation projections in Wisconsin is a monumental success story,” Walker said.

This latest data report on Amazon’s presence in Wisconsin came just before thousands of Amazon workers around the world held strikes for Prime Day, in protest of what they see as unfair working conditions and low wages.

Amazon faces mounting concern over how it treats workers in some of its warehouses. According to national media reports, physical conditions can be extreme to the point of endangering workers, who have reportedly collapsed from heat and exhaustion.

A report from Business Insider found Amazon accounts for 43 percent of all online sales, and ships 1.6 million packages every day.

Amazon’s platform is used by over 14,000 Wisconsin-based small- and medium-sized businesses to sell their products online, according to the company.

Some Wisconsin companies use Amazon’s platform to make money in other ways. One example is Goods Unite Us, a Madison startup that aims to make companies’ political contributions more clear to consumers.

As an Amazon affiliate, Goods Unite Us relies on Amazon’s online ordering system for any products listed. Its marketplace only lists items from companies that have exclusively made corporate donations to Democratic political candidates or Political Action Committees, or if they haven’t made any political donations.

Goods Unite Us gets up to 8 percent of the price of each purchased item, depending on the specific product. For most, it’s around 4 percent.

Another example is Big Dot of Happiness, a party decoration company based in Menomonie. Founder Sherri Yukel says selling using Amazon’s resources has been “a complete game changer” for her business.

“When we started selling on Amazon in 2012, we had 40 employees: now, we proudly employ 83 people and are still growing strong!” she says.

See an earlier story on Goods Unite Us:

–By Alex Moe