Amazon Warehouse Sparks Hope for Inland Empire Unemployed

Unemployment in the Inland Empure hit 11.7 percent in April, more than four points above the national average

Online-business giant Amazon's 20-acre warehouse under construction in the Inland Empire has thousands of unemployed residents hoping for a chance to end months of joblessness.

Veronica Emmanuel, a 23-year-old mother of a 4 year old, has been job-hunting for two months.

“It’s been difficult,” she said.

Unemployment rate in the Inland Empire was 11.7 percent in April, down a percentage point from the month before, according to My Desert. In 2010, unemployment in the IE hit a record 15 percent, second only to Detroit, the Press-Enterprise reported.

The Goodwill Job Center in San Bernardino is always busy, volunteers said.

“We see about 200 to 300 people a week, and we also average 1,000 per month,” said Virginia Becerra, Goodwill unemployment specialist.

Unemployed IE residents hope Amazon can boost the local economy.


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The San Bernardino site is scheduled to open in the fall and will eventually house more than 1,000 new job opportunities, according to a company spokesperson. It is one of two Amazon centers planned for California.

Another location in Patterson is scheduled to open next spring.

“This is one of the best parts about this job is being able to ring jobs to the community,” said John Magness, senior vice president of Hillwood Development.

Magness said San Bernardino, plagued by a lack of jobs, is the perfect place.

“A lot of surrounding cities, if you put em all together there’s a large unemployment base,” he said.

To apply for entry level and managerial positions at the new Amazon warehouse, visit

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