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December 12th, 2012
06:33 AM ET

"Workampers" filling temporary jobs for Amazon.com; CNN's Casey Wian reports on these 'affluent homeless'

A growing number of Americans today are continuously traveling around the country for work, especially during the holiday season. These nomadic workers of sorts are called “workampers”, and they’ve became a vital part of the workforce at a giant Amazon.com warehouse in Nevada.  Casey Wian has that story.

He follows Kellie and Walt Gunn as they drive to the company's massive customer fulfillment center, 30 miles outside Reno, Nevada. They call themselves "affluent homeless." Always on the road and living in an RV, these so-called workampers are two of “hundreds of thousands of semi-retired Americans...now traveling from seasonal job-to-job,” Wian reports. “At this Amazon warehouse, 250 workampers earn about $12 an hour, plus bonuses and overtime.”

"It's far more economical to live this way than it is in a stick house," Kellie says. “We don't spend near as much as we did when we were in a stick house. Just insurance alone and taxes on property and so forth,” Walt adds.

“This year, Amazon is hiring 50,000 seasonal workers at its 40 fulfillment centers nationwide,” Wian says. “Eleven hundred of them are Workampers…A small, but growing number of workampers are younger, forced out of jobs by the recession."

“With the economy the way it is, they have to work,” Walt says. “Well they're too young for Social Security, so they have no retirement,” Kellie adds. “When the economy dropped, they pretty much lost everything that they had. And so now they go from job to job."

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs • Unemployment • Workforce
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    I appreciate you taking the time to write about this topic.

    December 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply

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