The Labor Department announced that the week ending April 11 saw an astonishing 5.25 million new jobless claims. In just four weeks, virtually all of the job creation since the Great Recession has been wiped out, and there have been 22 million new unemployment claims over the last month. That means the coronavirus pandemic has already more than doubled the job losses of the financial crisis.
While some people are capable of working from home, or have the savings that will allow them to wait out the worst of the crisis, many don’t have the financial resources to go without a paycheck. Others don’t have any reason to think they’ll be working again in the near future.
However, while many industries have been dealt a crushing blow, a handful of lucky ones are actually experiencing an explosion in demand. These businesses are working hard to hire thousands of new people to keep up with the surge in demand and help service customers in these gloomy times. In fact, many are even increasing wages and/or benefits by a significant amount.
Whether you’re looking for a part-time stop-gap job to make ends meet or trying to find a new full-time job that might last beyond the crisis, know that there are industries in great shape. Here’s a closer look at the industries that are not only bucking the trend of higher unemployment — they are hiring faster than ever before.
Last updated: May 1, 2020
Big Box Stores
With their massive locations, big box stores have worked hard to keep prices low, supply chains robust and people flowing through their (mostly) suburban locations. And while their businesses are being tested, they’re also a crucial lifeline to people during trying times. With the demand for goods consumed at home spiking, they’re experiencing high levels of demand.
In addition to plans for new cleaning and safety practices, Target has plans to go on a hiring binge to ensure its stores can serve the influx of shoppers. In a March 10 note to customers, CEO Brian Cornell stated that the company is “staffing up our teams to support in-demand services like Order Pickup and Drive Up.”
Not only has Walmart announced plans to hire some 150,000 associates, it also appears to be making an effort to attract more talent with some timely bonuses for its associates. The company is paying Q1 bonues to hourly associates that total some $550 million.
Local convenience stores are also an important provider of essentials, selling food and other basics. That has them seeing a jump in demand that’s pushing these sort of chains to hire at a rapid rate.
One of America’s best-known convenience stores is looking to bring on considerably more staff to service customers. They’ve announced plans to bring on 20,000 new store associates in response to the crisis.
Mid-Atlantic chain Sheetz is expanding its workforce. The company is hiring full-time and part-time employees to work both the night and the day shift.
Discount or “dollar” stores are specifically geared toward serving the needs of largely low-income shoppers, and many people rely on them for a wide variety of essentials. And, with so many locations, they’re bringing on many new employees to meet spiking demand.
Dollar General touts how — with over 16,000 locations — 75% of the American population lives within five miles of one of its stores. And with the company announcing that it’s hiring for full- and part-time positions, it could be an important company for helping people laid off due to the pandemic to find stop-gap employment.
Dollar Tree and Family Dollar
Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have plans to hire over 25,000 new associates, with options for part-time and full-time employment. That includes positions at 15,000-plus stores or one of the 24 distribution centers serving them.
Fast Dining/Delivery Restaurants
While Americans might not be eating out for the time being, they’re still relying on restaurants. Places that can serve customers without violating rules on social distancing are currently in high demand and hiring as a result.
Domino’s is hiring 10,000 new workers to join the 120,000 people already employed at its 6,000-plus locations nationwide. That includes jobs for truck drivers at the company’s distribution centers.
Detroit-based Hungry Howie’s clearly doesn’t have the same national footprint as its larger competitors, but it does have 550 locations spread out across 21 states. And every location is hiring, so anyone near one in need of work should keep this chain in mind.
Papa John’s has been in the news for a lot of the wrong reasons in recent years, so fans of its pizza should be happy for this change of pace: In the midst of one of the biggest unemployment crises in American history, it intends to hire 20,000 new people as quickly as possible.
Pizza Hut has announced plans to hire 30,000 new people to handle the influx in business. That includes cooks, shift leaders, restaurant managers and virtual call center agents, so there’s a variety of potential roles.
While online shopping was already growing fast before the pandemic, it’s experiencing a whole new renaissance, with many retailers hiring a huge influx of talent to meet the sudden surge in demand.
Amazon has led the charge of hiring for the e-commerce and delivery industry; the company has already taken on 100,000 new employees. It currently has plans to hire an additional 75,000.
The incredible jump for Blue Apron’s stock — over 500% — reflects the huge increase in demand for its services. As a result, the company is pushing to staff up as fast as it can. That means it’s hiring at distribution centers in Linden, New Jersey, and Richmond, California.
Pet owners are turning online to get their supplies, and Chewy appears to be claiming a big slice of that business. It’s bringing on between 6,000 and 10,000 new human workers at its fulfillment centers to meet increased demand.
DoorDash’s business model is built around a partnership with local restaurants. It’s offering a priority access program to fast track the Dasher sign-up process for restaurant workers who have been recently laid off or seen their hours reduced due to the pandemic.
The huge demand for grocery delivery services has meant a host of opportunities for new shoppers. Instacart is planning on adding 300,000 new full-service shoppers before the start of August.
Government services aren’t stopping because of the pandemic, and some have bigger needs than ever before. That means there are new jobs in the public sector for those interested.
Centers for Disease Control
For those with a newfound interest in public health as a result of this crisis, you could get your start by signing on as a public health fieldworker with the Centers for Disease Control. The important work of vigorous contact tracing is going to be a necessary step to reopening the country, and the CDC will need a lot more staffers to carefully track cases to prevent new outbreaks.
U.S. Census Bureau
The all-important U.S. Census plays an essential role in determining how government resources are distributed, so its work will continue in spite of the pandemic. While many job offers have already been made, the Census continues to hire for temporary, part-time jobs.
The shifting of demand for a wide variety of essentials away from people’s workplaces to their homes has meant a huge spike in demand for grocery stores. Many are hiring thousands of new associates at most locations.
The Albertsons family of stores includes many of the best-known chains out there, including Safeway, Vons and Pavillions. And with the announcement of the immediate hiring of 30,000 new associates, that means positions are open across the country.
Aldi has announced that it has “significantly increased” its hiring efforts in response to spiking demand. They’re also temporarily raising wages and added scheduling flexibility.
Kroger is another grocery conglomerate with a brand portfolio that includes Ralphs, Food 4 Less and Fred Meyer. It plans to add 20,000 new workers at its stores throughout America.
Regional chain Meijer has announced the hiring of new seasonal workers at its stores to respond to the spike in demand. Most of the positions are for stockers, which are active roles that can be physically demanding for some.
Florida-based Publix is also hiring. Stores across its seven-state operating area are bringing on thousands of new associates.
Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop isn’t stopping its hiring as long as everyone is doing so much shopping. In fact, it’s bringing on at least 5,000 new part-time workers for stores, distributions centers and delivery operations.
The capacity of the U.S. healthcare system is being seriously taxed, and that has many different companies from throughout the industry looking to expand their workforce.
Demands on the healthcare sector are currently very high, and that extends to every corner of the industry. GE Healthcare is currently hiring additional employees to work in manufacturing as it tries to meet demand for medical equipment, like ventilators.
Partners in Health
Public health nonprofit Partners in Health isn’t intending to leave all the work of contact tracing to the CDC. It’s announced plans to deploy almost 1,000 people to help meet the need.
Many people have a lot more time on their hands these days, so home improvement projects are finally possible. Americans are also probably looking to avoid social contact with a contractor or repairman, so making any pressing fixes around the house on your own is at a premium.
ACE Hardware plans to bring on 30,000 new associates throughout the U.S. That includes workers for both regional support centers and its 4,300 locally-owned stores.
Lowe’s has plans to hire 30,000 new employees at its locations across America. And those jobs are more appealing than usual as the chain has temporarily boosted wages by $2 an hour.
Tractor Supply Co.
Team members at Tractor Supply Co. are getting a temporary $2 an hour raise. In addition, many store managers and frontline leaders will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 or $500. It’s also hiring another 5,000 workers.
With millions of children needing to continue their education outside of the classroom, online learning has suddenly become an essential service.
Outschool is working to scale up operations as quickly as possible in lieu of the huge new demand for its services. In mid-March, the company announced plans to bring on 5,000 new teachers by the beginning of April.
While the demand surge is hitting the supply chain closer to the point of sale at the moment, keeping grocery stores stocked with packaged food that will last on shelves remains important. As a result, companies that make packaged foods are currently expanding their workforce.
PepsiCo is offering a range of additional benefits and pay for frontline employees, which should help them with its goal of bringing on 6,000 new employees in those roles.
Pharmacies can’t shut down, with many people relying on daily medications to keep them healthy and alive. Many pharmacies also sell a variety of other essentials — from food to first-aid supplies.
Walgreens has nearly 10,000 full- and part-time roles it’s looking to fill in its stores located throughout the country. They include openings for customer service associates, shift leads and pharmacy techs.
Pharmacy/health insurance giant CVS has quickly ramped up efforts to bring on 50,000 new workers. That includes both part-time and full-time positions for store associates, pharmacy workers and nurses.
Few places in America are at greater risk right now than senior living facilities, where concentrations of potentially high-risk patients mean it’s more important than ever to limit trips off grounds for residents.
Pathway to Living
The need for workers in a wide variety of capacities has senior housing facilities reaching out to new workers. That includes both medical workers and service workers handling things like delivering meals or cleaning.
Discovery Senior Living
Discovery Senior Living is looking to turn the misfortune of others into an opportunity. It’s targeting hospitality workers who might have been laid off in the wake of the pandemic to work at its facilities.
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