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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Brad Moon, Contributing Writer
| March 23, 2020
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic isn't just taking a terrible toll in lives, straining the healthcare system and disrupting daily life: It's eliminating American jobs at an unprecedented pace.
Goldman Sachs is predicting that unemployment could reach up to 9% later this year. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard isn't nearly so optimistic, believing unemployment could spike to 30% by next quarter.
However, if you've suddenly found yourself on the job search, some temporary relief might be on the way. A few sectors are seeing a huge spike in demand, and as a result, a number of companies are hiring right now, en masse.
Employment categories currently seeing a surge in hiring include grocery stores, food delivery services, package delivery drivers, freight trucking, cleaning services, call centers, e-commerce warehouses and logistics, nursing homes, manufacturers of popular shelf-stable food products, pharmacies and security services.
To help anyone out there trying to find a job, we've put together a list of two dozen of the largest, best-known companies hiring now in response to coronavirus-sparked demand. This list includes what types of job openings are available, how many, and direct links to job application sites. Many of these companies have declared nationwide openings, there's a good chance that several of these places are hiring near you.
Company headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Number of new jobs announced: Up to 20,000
Location of new jobs: Nationwide
Apply for 7-Eleven job openings
Grocery and big-box stores are naturally seeing their shelves picked clean as consumers stock up on essentials. But so are convenience stores such as privately held 7-Eleven, which is seeing a big boost in business, too.
The company is hiring now for people to stock shelves, clean stores and meet a surge in mobile orders placed using its 7NOW delivery app. On March 20, 7-Eleven announced it expects to hire up to 20,000 new store employees nationwide to meet increased demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Company headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Number of new jobs announced: 100,000
Apply for Amazon.com job openings
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge increase in online shopping as consumers hanker down and minimize their trips outdoors. No surprise, then, that on March 16, Amazon.com (AMZN) announced a $2-per-hour pay increase for its U.S. workers, not to mention a massive flood of new Amazon jobs:
"We are opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon's service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public."
Courtesy CVS Health
Company headquarters: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Number of new jobs announced: 50,000
Apply for CVS job openings
On March 23, CVS Health (CVS) announced one of the country's largest coronavirus-related hiring surges. The company says prescription delivery volume is up 300%, and stores are filled with customers stocking up on health and medical supplies, along with household goods. To meet service needs, CVS is among the companies hiring tens of thousands of new employees now – a mix of 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary jobs.
CVS is moving fast on most of these, too. Its career page states: "In response to the urgent and increased health care needs of American's impacted by the COVID-19, Coronavirus, pandemic, we are accelerating a plan to fill more than 32,000 full-time and part-time positions across the country." It's unclear, however, whether that number is part of the 50,000 roles announced, or if it will be updated to reflect the full 50,000 jobs.
Courtesy Dollar General
Apply for Dollar Tree job openings
Apply for Dollar General job openings
Discount stores are seeing a surge in demand from shoppers, too. This means additional staff are required for manning cash registers, cleaning, stocking shelves and handling warehouse responsibilities. As a result, Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Dollar General (DG) are both hiring for positions across the U.S.
Dollar Tree announced its plans for a mass-hiring spree on March 20, writing, "During this unprecedented time, our Company is seeking 25,000 motivated individuals to support our stores and distribution centers as we provide essential products at great values to the communities we serve."
Dollar General didn't talk numbers but released a statement saying, "For any individual whose job has been temporarily impacted by the effect of COVID-19, we currently have a number of full and part time positions available across our stores, distribution centers and private fleet network."
Company headquarters: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Number of new jobs announced: 10,000
Apply for Domino's job openings
Apply for Pizza Hut job openings
Apply for Papa John's job openings
The demand for pizza hasn't slowed any during the epidemic crisis – if anything, it has increased, with all those pies being sent out from restaurants to customers' homes. That makes it a prime target for Americans newly on the job search.
Domino's Pizza (DPZ) is once again ahead of the trend, introducing contactless delivery in the U.S. But it also needs to hire more staff. That’s expected to amount to 10,000 new hires across the country for roles including delivery drivers, pizza makers and truck drivers.
In a statement (via CNBC), CEO Ritch Allison said, "Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they're not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry."
Other pizza companies are hiring right now, too. Yum Brands’ (YUM) Pizza Hut announced it has 30,000 permanent open positions to fill, including cooks, managers and shift leaders. The company says its 24-slice “Big Dipper” pizza has become especially popular with families shut in together because of the coronavirus. Papa John’s (PZZA) also recently announced it needs to fill 20,000 positions immediately because of coronavirus-fueled demand.
Apply to be an Instacart shopper
Apply to be a GrubHub driver
Apply to be a DoorDash driver
The demand for food delivery services from restaurants and grocery stores was growing before the coronavirus crisis hit. Now, restaurants nationwide are closing their dining rooms, but many are keeping their kitchens running in the hopes of staying alive be selling take-out food. That means food delivery services like GrubHub (GRUB) are having trouble keeping up with the volume of orders. So are personal shopping and delivery services like Instacart.
On March 23, Instacart announced it will be hiring an astounding 300,000 full-time contractors for North America to deal with the demand. That’s expected to be 54,000 in California alone. In addition, Instacart says it will provide up to 14 days of extended pay for any full-service or in-store shoppers who are diagnosed with COVID-19, or forced to quarantine or self-isolate.
DoorDash is hiring too, but this food delivery service is prioritizing restaurant workers who have seen their hours slashed or been laid off as a result of COVID-19 measures:
"We know that many restaurant workers are finding themselves with fewer hours – hours they need to support themselves and their families. So we are creating a priority access program to help your workers sign up as Dashers and begin making deliveries safely, enabling them to meet their financial needs until their jobs return to normal."
Apply for UPS job openings
Apply for Fedex job openings
With Americans practicing social distancing, working from home and self-isolating, there has been a significant increase in home package deliveries. United Parcel Service (UPS) drivers have reported volumes more typical of the holidays, with 12-hour shifts to keep up with demand.
Both FedEx (FDX) and UPS have ramped up hiring as a result.
Last weekend, FedEx held a job fair looking to fill 500 permanent, part-time positions at its World Hub in Memphis. It's worth checking your local FedEx and UPS offices for open positions – last week, the companies were looking to hire 70 and 50 jobs respectively, at their northeast Ohio locations alone.
Company headquarters: Akron, Ohio
Number of new jobs announced: Not specified
Location of new jobs: Cuyahoga Falls and Wooster (Ohio)
Apply for Gojo job openings
Given the shortages and panic-buying of hand sanitizer that quickly became emblematic of the COVID 19 crisis, it should come as no surprise to learn manufacturers of this must-have are ramping up production. Ohio-based Gojo makes the popular Purell brand of hand sanitizer products and currently employs roughly 2,500 people.
This is a small company compared to most of the rest on this list, but it's among the employers most connected to the coronavirus fight. A company spokesperson told Cleveland.com that it is seeking workers for its two plants due to a "dramatic increase" in demand for Purell products.
Apply for Publix job openings
Apply for Kroger job openings
Apply for Costco job openings
Apple for Safeway job openings
One look at the chaos COVID-19 panic has caused in grocery stores, and it's immediately obvious they need help. Besides stocking the shelves and in many cases preparing online orders for pickup, cleaning a store to keep it safe for customers has become a much more critical (and labor-intensive) task.
I asked Costco (COST) to confirm whether it is hiring to cope with the COVID-19 surge, but the company declined to comment, saying only: "As always, our focus is to have merchandise available for our members at low warehouse prices." However, there are numerous local reports across the U.S. of Costco locations now hiring. For example, NBC spoke to a Woodland Hills, California, Costco location that confirmed that store is hiring 40 more workers specifically to meet the added demand.
The same goes for grocery-chain companies, which are hiring now. Privately held Publix told Tampa Bay media it is hiring "thousands" of workers to keep up with shoppers who are stocking up on supplies to ride out the pandemic. On March 17, Kroger (KR) said it has already hired 2,000 new staff in response to increased demand from the coronavirus, with more than 10,000 openings still to fill in its stores, plants and warehouses. In the San Francisco Bay area, privately held Safeway is immediately hiring more than 2,000 workers.
If you're looking for job openings near you, be sure to check with your local grocery stores. There's a good chance they have positions to fill.
Company headquarters: San Francisco, California
Number of new jobs announced: 5,000
Location of new jobs: Nationwide (internet access required)
Apply for Outschool job openings
While the push to have employees work from home has been one of the largest societal shifts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's another big one for many American families: Schools are shut down.
Keeping kids entertained and active is one thing, but parents are already worrying about continuing education. And teachers are out of work. Privately held Outschool – a San Francisco-based startup that provides online classes – is stepping up to cover both needs.
On March 15, Outschool announced it needs to hire 5,000 teachers to meet an 11x increase in demand, driven by parents looking for online courses so their housebound children can continue their education. These jobs pay an average of $40 per hour.
Company headquarters: Harrison, New York
Number of new jobs announced: 6,000 full-time
Apply for PepsiCo job openings
Multinational food giant PepsiCo (PEP) – whose brands include its namesake Pepsi, as well as Lays chips, Quaker Oats, Pure Leaf teas and Tropicana orange juice – is stepping up production at plants across the U.S. to ensure home-bound Americans don't run short of snacks or beverages.
Pepsico announced on March 20 that it will be hiring an additional 6,000 workers in the U.S. to meet increased demand for its products – and these are full-time jobs with benefits. The company also announced enhanced wages and benefits for its existing 90,000-plus North American employees.
Company headquarters: Deerfield, Illinois
Number of new jobs announced: 9,500
Apply for Walgreens job openings
Just like CVS, Walgreens (WBA) is seeing a surge in demand as customers strip shelves of products such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, cold and flu medications, and vitamins. In addition, customers are rushing to stock up on prescriptions.
Thus, Walgreens is also hiring now to meet this ramp in demand.
"As we deal with significant demands on our stores and pharmacies during this time, we're looking to fill roughly 9,500 existing full and part-time roles in stores across the U.S.," the company says. "In addition, as Walgreens continues to assess its needs related to the coronavirus situation, it will look to begin filling additional temporary CSA positions starting next week to help bolster in-store staffing."
Company headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas
Number of new jobs announced: 150,000
Apply for Walmart job openings
Walmart (WMT) is seeing increased traffic in stores and online because of COVID-19, and is among the largest companies hiring right now. It announced it will bring on a whopping 150,000 new associates across the U.S. to work in its stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. The jobs are temporary, but the company says its expects many to convert to full-time roles.
Walmart needs the help quickly, so it will "dramatically expedite hiring" of key roles, pledging to reduce its usual two-week application process to just 24 hours.
Courtesy Zoom Video Communications
Location of new jobs: Nationwide and international
Apply for Zoom job openings
Apply for Slack job openings
With many companies arranging for their employees to work from home, remote meeting and team collaboration solutions are in the spotlight. Companies like Slack Technologies (WORK) and Zoom Video Communications (ZM) haven't put out specific calls for staffing, but are reported to be listing new jobs and hiring now because of a COVID-fired surge in demand. Indeed, both companies' websites show what appear to be hundreds of job openings for everything from support to sales roles.
Zoom's CFO told CNBC the company has been busy adding servers to its 17 data centers, with plans to bring two centers online. He notes the company is hiring engineers and salespeople – with that latter role expected to be a critical one when the company tries to convert the myriad free trials now underway into paid subscriptions.