A reader shares a report: Amazon added a whopping 159,500 employees in the last quarter, pushing its total employment to 541,900 people worldwide, according to new numbers from the tech giant released today. Amazon's headcount grew 77 percent over this time last year, and a big reason for that is the completion of Amazon's blockbuster deal to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion and the acquisition of e-commerce company Souq. The Whole Foods deal includes 87,000 people who worked at the grocery chain, making up a big chunk of the employment growth this quarter. Even factoring out the acquisitions of Whole Foods and Souq, Amazon's headcount climbed 47 percent over this time last year. "Certainly hiring continues to remain strong, especially in the tech areas and sales force, particularly in AWS," Amazon's CFO Brian Olsavsky said on a call with reporters.