The Reality Behind Amgen Telling Trump That the Company Will Hire 1,600 Workers in 2017

First I saw it in Facebook posts, then in all the major newspapers. Trump's Press Secretary Tweets out that Amgen's CEO indicates Amgen will be adding 1,600 jobs. An L.A. Times story followed up with Amgen that the company plans to hire 1,600 people in the U.S. this year, including both "new skills" folks and to replace folks that have left the company through attrition. Is this really newsworthy?

Let's take a closer look.

The key word here is "attrition." Every company has attrition, also known as turnover. People quit, get laid off, terminated, etc.  What is Amgen's attrition rate? This is not publicly known information, although a State of California Employee Training Panel issued a report showing a turnover rate of 11% in September 2015.

Let's be conservative (not in the political sense) and cut that by about a third, down to a rate of 8%. Amgen has roughly 12,000 U.S. employees out of 19,000 total. At 12,000 employees and an attrition rate of 8%, Amgen would have to hire nearly 1,000 people in the U.S. in 2016 just to replace existing jobs.

That hypothetically leaves about 600 "new" positions, which is great, but not particularly significant for a company of 18,000 employees. Don't get me wrong...it's wonderful that our local pride and joy is hiring. But this is not particularly worthy of major newspaper coverage and a special "Tweet" by the White House Press Secretary.

Amgen trends in headcount compared to revenue generated per employee from 2006 to 2016. (Source: Derived from Amgen Annual Report and 10-K)

Amgen trends in headcount compared to revenue generated per employee from 2006 to 2016. (Source: Derived from Amgen Annual Report and 10-K)

As you can see in the chart above, the trend does not appear to be a friend of jobs. While revenue has grown at a compound annual growth rate south of 5% over 11 years, total headcount has dropped by 4% in the aggregate. This has made Amgen a much more efficient company, at the expense of jobs. But that is typical for a company of Amgen's size to continue delivering value to shareholders - look to cost cutting to offset stagnating revenue growth in order to drive the bottom line.

Most large public companies go through this cycle...grow, grow, grow...stagnate...restructure. In 2014, Amgen announced a restructuring plan involving 3,500 to 4,000 staff reductions and consolidation of facilities in Washington, Colorado and Thousand Oaks.

In any case, it is great to see Amgen hiring. There are currently over 500 jobs listed worldwide for our local Fortune 500 resident in the Conejo Valley. Visit careers.amgen.com to learn more.

And for links to over 300 local employers throughout the Conejo Valley, Greater Ventura County and surrounding areas, visit THIS PAGE.

And on one last marginally related note, here is a compilation of the first sentence of Amgen's annual "Letter to Shareholders" from its CEO over the last 10 years. Maybe it's time to hire a more interesting writer! :) Let's see what the 2016 letter looks like** when published this coming March at investors.amgen.com. Exceptional, landmark, extraordinary, momentous and _____________. What will it be? President Trump might use "tremendous," "incredible" or perhaps, "yuuuuuge!"

** UPDATE: Amgen changed it up a bit with "For Amgen, 2016 was a strong year..."

  • 2015 was a momentous year for Amgen.
  • 2014 was an extraordinary year for Amgen--
  • 2013 was a landmark year for Amgen.
  • 2012 was an exceptional year for Amgen.
  • We're proud of what Amgen accomplished in 2011 - a solid year
  • 2010 was a year of challenges met and promises delivered...
  • In 2009, Amgen...weathered the most challenging economic environment in our 30-year history.
  • 2008 was a good year for Amgen...
  • 2007 was not the year we expected.
  • I am pleased to report that Amgen delivered excellent performance in 2006.

Final Stage of 2014 Amgen Tour of California to Start and Finish in Thousand Oaks

Challenging Route to Take the World's Top Cyclists Across More Than 700 Miles of Striking California Terrain During America's Premier Professional Cycling Race May 11–18, 2014

FINAL STAGE OF RACE TO RETURN TO THOUSAND OAKS ON MAY 18TH!

LOCAL ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION AND MAPS FOR MAY 18TH

The Amgen Tour of California returns to Sacramento for the start of the ninth edition of America's largest cycling race. The eight day stage race will return to a route traveling north-to-south from May 11-18, 2014 along more than 700 miles of scenic roads through some of California's most picturesque backdrops. Considered America's largest and most prestigious cycling event, the overall start of the Amgen Tour of California will begin in front of the state's Capital Building and travel through 11 host cities during the eight day event including Folsom, San Jose, Mt. Diablo, Monterey, Cambria, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Mountain High, Pasadena and Thousand Oaks.

The first day starts and finishers in Sacarament. The following day, the Individual Time Trial (Stage 2) will see racers competing against the clock in the former gold rush city of Folsom. For Stage 3, the peloton will return to San Jose (the only city to have participated in all nine editions of the race), for a stage start before traveling more than 50 miles north, gaining altitude as the route winds up Mt. Diablo for a mountaintop finish.

Stage 4 start in Monterey, where the race will traverse approximately 100 miles south to finish the day in Cambria. Stage 5 kicks off in Pismo Beach as the route continues south to Santa Barbara for the Stage 5 finish.  Santa Clarita will host the Stage 6 start, before riders head to Mountain High for another mountaintop finish. The peloton will return to Santa Clarita for the Stage 7 start and will finish that day in Pasadena.

The eighth and final stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will start and finish in Thousand Oaks on Townsgate Road, between Westlake Boulevard and Lakeview Canyon Road.

Each 20-mile circuit will pass through Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, past the Rock Store at the foot of the climb, and then a very technical descent of Westlake Boulevard.

Amgen returns as the race's title sponsor for the ninth consecutive year, continuing to leverage the event to raise awareness of the important resources available to people affected by cancer—from prevention through survivorship—through its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative. (For more information, www.breakawayfromcancer.com)

The 13 Host City partners for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California include:

• Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento
• Stage 2: Monday, May 12 – Folsom (Individual Time Trial)
• Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo
• Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria
• Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara

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6th Annual Amgen Tour of California Final Stage Will Finish in Thousand Oaks on Sunday, May 22nd

Route details have been announced for Stage 8! Race starts in Santa Clarita at McBean Parkway and Magic Mountain Parkway to the 126 West through Piru/Fillmore. Then it cuts south to the hilly Balcom Canyon Road to Stockton Road, then east on Los Angeles Avenue in Moorpark. From there it goes south on Tierra Rejada Road on to Moorpark Road and the Norwegian Grade...ouch! Up and over the top of the grade to Olsen Road west, then boy is it gonna be a blistering pace down Lynn Road! The cyclists will turn left (east) on Hillcrest to what looks to be Old Conejo School Road (adjacent to The Lakes), and from there it will be another 5 lap, 4 mile per lap circuit that includes Thousand Oaks Boulevard and ends at the T.O. Civic Arts Plaza (Thousand Oaks Blvd and Conejo School Road). There will be miles and miles of great race coverage in Thousand Oaks!

Amgen Tour Street Closure Map in Thousand Oaks this Sunday


View 2011 Amgen Tour City of Thousand Oaks Route with Street Closu­­res/­R­oad Blocks in a larger map

The 6th Annual Amgen Tour of California will take place over 8 days, from May 15-22, 2011. This year's event starts in a new location, South Lake Tahoe, on May 15th. From there it goes to North Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Auburn, Modesto, Livermore, San Jose, Seaside, Paso Robles, Solvang, Claremont, Mount Baldy, Santa Clarita...and, finally...THOUSAND OAKS once again in the 8th Stage finale on Sunday, May 22nd. Over 800 miles of riding. The Thousand Oaks final stage will finish at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

Last year's final stage in Thousand Oaks had 128 cyclists and 63 finishers. Hopefully we will see many of the same from last year's top 5, winner Michael Rogers, 2nd place David Zabriskie, 3rd place Levi Leipheimer (winner of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 events), 4th place Christoper Horner and 5th place Ryder Hesjedal. Lance Armstrong rode in the 2010 event but had to bow out after a crash in Stage 5.

For more information, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com or the City of Thousand Oaks Stage 8 website at www.amgentourconejo.org.