Unemployment is rising rapidly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but there's a hiring boom on at supermarkets, online retailers and other companies in still-active parts of the economy.
The biggest bumps announced to date are at Walmart, Amazon and grocery-delivery service Instacart. They're adding hundreds of thousands of workers as people shelter in place and demand for online shopping and home delivery rises.
All job seekers should remember to prioritize their health and safety even while they look for employment, especially older adults, who appear to be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. But the recent hiring announcements from large companies could offer opportunities for families who have been affected financially by the widespread shutdowns.
States have sharply restricted most economic activity that involves large numbers of people in one place, ordering gyms, bars and entertainment venues to close and limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery service.
10 Big Companies That Are Hiring Right Now
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• 7-Eleven aims to hire at least 20,000 employees nationwide.
• Albertsons has 30,000 openings at its Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and other supemarkets.
• Amazon is adding 100,000 jobs in its fulfillment centers and delivery network.
• CVS Health is hiring 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees.
• GE Healthcare is boosting manufacturing staff as it ramps up production of ventilators and other medical equipment.
• Instacart is hiring 300,000 “shoppers” to meet the surging demand for grocery delivery.
• PepsiCo is adding 6,000 frontline employees in production, distribution and sales.
• Pizza Hut is bringing on 30,000 cooks, drivers, call center agents and other workers as it expands pickup and delivery options.
• Walmart is hiring 150,000 associates, primarily to beef up its supply chain.
This protocol has led to extensive layoffs. Nearly 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending March 21, a record for new jobless claims, according to the Labor Department.
Businesses providing essential products and services have been allowed to remain open, and many retailers are rapidly adding staff, including the following.
Drugstores CVS launched what it called the most ambitious hiring drive in company history and is looking to fill 50,000 posts. Walgreens is hiring 9,500 people.
Supermarkets Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway, Publix and Aldi are adding thousands of in-store and other jobs.
Pizza chains Domino's, Pizza Hut and Papa John's all have announced plans to hire 10,000 or more drivers, cooks and other staff.
Discount stores Dollar General is filling up to 50,000 positions, mostly temporary, and Dollar Tree (which also operates Family Dollar) is adding some 25,000 workers.