"I've gotten to know a lot of really cool people, and I'm really going to miss them," says 50-year-old Sharon Scofield. "But then I'm excited that I get to come back again next year, hopefully, and see them again."
Scofield and her husband have set up temporary residence at the Fernley RV Park, where 60 percent of the 49 spots are occupied by members of Amazon's "camperforce". Temporary employees are paid about $12 an hour, plus overtime, and Scofield plans to use her income to pay for gas for her Winnebago all year. "The work is hard," she says. What does she do for fun after hours? "Sleep."
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Amazon says it's hired 50,000 seasonal workers and may keep some of them after the holidays. Workampers say the company recruits during the off season in places like Quartzsite, Arizona, where many of them winter.Jim Melvin is in his second season for Amazon. "It gives me extra money to travel with." This 68-year-old retiree from California says he walks up to 10 miles a day picking merchandise inside the Amazon facility. "When you walk into it, you know you're gonna work hard." He's hoping to save enough money to buy a car to tow behind his rig. Melvin blogs about his life on the road and the people he meets. "They're fun...you see the same people," he laughs.
The seasonal workers spend money in Fernley and Reno, an area recovering from the recession more slowly than the rest of the country.
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