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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Brad Moon, Contributing Writer
| May 20, 2020
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is taking a terrible toll on human life, straining global healthcare systems and disrupting daily life. It's eliminating American jobs at an unprecedented pace, too.
More than 36 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits between March 15 and May 8. The U.S. unemployment rate reached 14.7% in April, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged, at its worst, that figure could reach Great Depression levels around 25%. If so, that would equate to job losses several times more than what America suffered during the Great Recession of 2007-08.
But if you've suddenly found yourself on the job search, dozens of companies might be looking for you. A few sectors are seeing a huge spike in demand, and as a result, several companies are hiring thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of workers right now.
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, online tutors, manufacturers of popular shelf-stable food products, pharmacies and security services.
To help anyone out there trying to find a job, we've compiled a list of 37 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, so 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.
Courtesy Ace Hardware
Company headquarters: Oak Brook, Illinois
Number of new jobs announced: 30,000
Apply for Ace Hardware job openings
Ace Hardware Corporation, the nation's largest retail hardware cooperative, announced it is undertaking a massive hiring wave. With 75% of Americans living within 15 minutes of an Ace Hardware location, demand has been high during the coronavirus shutdown. The company and its independent retailers will be adding 30,000 positions, including a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal employees at 4,300 locally owned stores located across the U.S.
"Over these 95 years, our local owners have weathered their community through a crisis or two and these 'red-vested heroes' stand ready to do it again," Ace Hardware CEO John Venhuizen says. "We feel fortunate that we are able to provide employment opportunities for those who may be looking for work, with our growing need for more helpful associates."
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."
A month later, on April 13, the company announced it had reached that 100,000 target. But don't worry: Amazon is going to continue bringing on new employees, announcing it will create another 75,000 jobs. Amazon sent out this invitation to anyone who has lost their job as a result of the coronavirus lockdown:
"We know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis, and we welcome anyone out of work to join us at Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back."
Amazon also is taking further measures to protect warehouse workers, including checking employee temperatures at the start of shifts, purchasing hand sanitizer and 450,000 canisters of disinfectant wipes, and distributing masks.
Company headquarters: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Number of new jobs announced: Thousands
Apply for Bellhops job openings
Bellhops is an online moving service. And while you might think moving would be slowing to a halt, CEO Luke Marklin says the company's business is robust enough to warrant extra help.
"Americans are still having to move," Marklin says. "Whether it's due to the end of a lease or they are renting or purchasing a new home, they need help. As an essential service, Bellhops is working tirelessly to ensure those who need to move have the assistance they need. This also means we have work opportunities for those impacted by layoffs and pay cuts."
The company is hiring “thousands” of contractors nationwide to meet demand. It says its moving professionals make an average of $21 per hour, including tips and bonuses, while professional drivers can make over $40 per hour.
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
Apply for Hungry Howie'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) recently announced it needs to fill 20,000 positions immediately because of coronavirus-fueled demand. And Hungry Howie’s says it is hiring 2,000 permanent drivers across 550 locations in 21 states, with rates that can pay up to $15 per hour.
Apply to be an Instacart shopper
Apply to be a GrubHub driver
Apply to be a DoorDash driver
Apply to be a Shipt shopper
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."
Shipt also is adding workers to meet demand, including 3,000 in Detroit and 2,000 in Miami. “To best meet the needs of the communities we serve, we’re actively adding thousands of new Shipt Shoppers across the country,” the company says.
Company headquarters: Menlo Park, California
Locations of new jobs: Primarily in California, but also at offices across the U.S. (including New York, Washington, Texas, Utah, and Georgia)
Apply for Facebook openings
Facebook (FB) has responded to the coronavirus pandemic by having employees work from home as much as possible. In addition, the social media giant has ramped up content review. This process is now more sensitive than ever, given the potential for misuse of the platform around COVID-19 information, and the needs of people under lockdown who have been cut off from friends and family for weeks at a time.
The company also will distribute $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses feeling the impact of the lockdown.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told CNBC that despite the hit the company is taking in ad revenue, it plans to hire an additional 10,000 employees for its product and engineering teams in 2020 – a 22% increase in its headcount.
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
Apply for Safeway job openings
Apply for Whole Foods 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.
Amazon-owned Whole Foods says: “We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one.” The company is hiring 5,000 workers, with a minimum starting wage of $15 per hour.
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: Mooresville, North Carolina
Apply for Lowe's job openings
Lowe's (LOW) already has 300,000 workers, but in response to demand caused by the coronavirus, it plans on bringing on an additional 30,000 extra pairs of hands.
In-store positions are available across the U.S., including full-time, part-time and "tens of thousands" of seasonal jobs, plus overnight cleaning and stocking positions available for laid-off workers who need temporary employment. Lowe's also is hiring at its distribution centers.
Company headquarters (U.S.): Arlington, Virginia
Number of new jobs announced: 5,000
Locations of new jobs: Nationwide
Apply for Nestlé openings
Multinational food conglomerate Nestlé (NSRGY) also has seen an increase in demand for many of its products during the coronavirus lockdown.
The company and its brands operate in more than 120 locations across 47 states, including production, distribution and corporate locations. And it recently opened its U.S. head office in Arlington, Virginia. Nestlé says it is in hiring mode, with plans to add 5,000 positions for its American operations, at both factory/distribution and corporate sites.
Location of Jobs: Nationwide
Apply for Outschool job openings
Apply for Varsity Tutors job openings
The push to have employees work from home has been one of the largest societal shifts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another one that many American families face: 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. That combination provides a budding opportunity for online tutoring.
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.
St. Louis-based Varsity Tutors, another privately held online educational service, is expecting to hire 10,000 instructors to work from home while teaching an online "Virtual School Day."
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.
Courtesy Rite Aid
Company headquarters (U.S.): Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Apply for Rite Aid openings
Rite Aid (RAD) has nearly 2,500 locations across the United States, and its pharmacies are seeing a big increase in demand:
"Rite Aid is on the front lines in helping Americans cope with the COVID-19 pandemic," the company writes. "We are working around the clock to ensure we are doing our part to provide Rite Aid's associates, customers, and communities with what they need during these unprecedented times – from medication delivery to ensuring clean, safe and stocked stores."
The company is looking to hire additional staff to meet COVID-19 demand. There are 5,000 positions to fill, including cashiers, pharmacy technicians and distribution center associates.
Company headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Number of new jobs announced: Over 9,000
Apply for Target openings
Target (TGT) has been making moves to protect its employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes supplying face masks and gloves, and committing $300 million to "wages, bonuses, paid leave, benefits and relief fund contributions." In addition, the company recently announced its $2-per-hour wage boost for frontline workers will be extended to May 30.
Target has noted a big boost in drive-up service demand, and has added added 80,000 new Shipt shoppers for home delivery demand. It has not made an official hiring announcement in response to the pandemic; however, the company currently has over 9,000 positions open across the country. Roles include seasonal workers, store team leaders, merchandisers, security and distribution center positions.
Courtesy Tractor Supply Company
Company headquarters: Brentwood, Tennessee
Number of new jobs announced: 5,000+
Apply for Tractor Supply job opportunities
Tractor Supply Company (TSCO) has been in business for more than 80 years. The company – also known as TSC – counts more than 33,000 employees, with 1,863 stores and eight distribution centers across 49 states.
The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in unprecedented need for new staff, resulting in what TSC describes as "the Company's most ambitious hiring drive ever with plans to immediately fill more than 5,000 full-time and part-time Team Member positions."
Stores and distribution centers will be hiring new roles as well as providing backup for existing positions, with a focus on increased safety and increased customer service in TSC stores. Tractor Supply also is bolstering efforts to ensure employees are safe, including enforcing social distancing and increasing employee use of personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, face shields and sanitizer.
Courtesy Valet Living
Company headquarters: Tampa, Florida
Apply for Valet Living job opportunities
Valet Living is the only nationally recognized full-service amenities provider to the multifamily housing industry. The privately held company provides apartments and housing complexes with services including doorstep collection and recycling, along with premium home-related services such as concierge, fitness, maintenance, pet and turns solutions.
Valet Living tells Kiplinger they are hiring up to 10,000 part-time, temporary and long-term positions over the next few months, with many of those positions open immediately. New hires can expect to be assigned to tasks such as package delivery, pet walks, doorstep trash service and running the concierge desk.
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 initially announced plans to 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 said it expected many to convert to full-time roles. It also needed the help quickly, so it said it would "dramatically expedite hiring" of key roles, pledging to reduce its usual two-week application process to just 24 hours.
Walmart now says it has hired 100,000 workers since that initial pledge. Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, told CNBC, "We'll easily hit the 150,000. We'll do an assessment to see if we need to do more."
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.