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NEW YORK (AFP) – Amazon announced plans Monday to add 5,000 full-time jobs at 17 facilities in the United States and to hire more than 7,000 workers as it beefs up its customer-service network.

The announcement comes one day ahead of an appearance by President Barack Obama Tuesday at one of the Internet retail giant’s facilities in Tennessee.

Amazon, which has about 97,000 employees, is creating jobs as it expands its distribution network to speed up deliveries. The facilities are in 10 states across the country, from South Carolina to California.

Amazon said that more than 5,000 jobs were now available across its warehouse network, touting pay that is 30 percent higher than that of traditional retail stores.

“In the last year alone, Amazon opened eight fulfillment centers in the U.S., resulting in thousands of new jobs being added to communities nationwide,” the company said in a statement.

The Seattle-based retailer also said it was currently hiring in four states for more than 2,000 jobs in its customer service network, which includes a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.

Amazon’s hiring comes amid a continued push by the company to favor growth into new ventures even at the expense of near-term profitability under the premise that profit growth will come later.

The company last week reported a quarterly loss of $7 million as revenues soared 22 percent to $15.7 billion. Amazon has spent heavily promoting its tablet, the Kindle Fire, as well as to establish a live-streaming video feature and produce original programming.

The market has generally welcomed Amazon’s strategy, though the company also has its critics. After last week’s earnings were released, the company’s shares initially declined, but ended up closing the day 2.8 percent higher.

Amazon shares were down 1.5 percent in midday New York trade Monday.

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