The spreading coronavirus has put many people out of work. But some companies are still hiring. Most are retailers like Walmart and Amazon, which are staying open so people can buy groceries or order cleaning supplies. Others are fast food restaurants seeing a spike in demand. The jobs come with risk, since the new hires would have to work in warehouses or stores with others, possibly exposing them to the virus. Some of the employers are temporarily boosting pay by a couple of dollars an hour to try to make the roles more attractive.
Walmart wants to hire 150,000. Amazon, which is struggling to keep up with a rush in online orders, is looking for 100,000 people. CVS and Dollar General are hiring 50,000 each. And pizza chain Papa John’s wants 20,000. But the hiring spree won’t offset job losses. Jobless claims have surged across the U.S., overwhelming state offices. In its report Thursday, the Labor Department said 3.3 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up from 282,000 during the previous week. Many of the new jobs are temporary, but the companies say some may turn into permanent roles.