As retail stores close or restrict hours as part of the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, opportunity knocks for Americans at Amazon.
The online retailer is planning to hire 100,000 more employees to cope with the expected spike in demand as consumers who either will not or cannot go to a store do their shopping online.
Amazon Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations Dave Clark announced the hirings in a Monday blog post.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Amazon and our network of partners are helping communities around the world in a way that very few can—delivering critical supplies directly to the doorsteps of people who need them,” he wrote.
“Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues. We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year.”
According to Clark, Amazon will have both full-time and part-time openings.
“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,” he wrote.
“We also 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. We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
Many Amazon employees will also be getting a raise.
“In the U.S., we will be adding an additional $2 USD per hour worked through April from our current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. This commitment to increased pay through the end of April represents an investment of over $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada,” Clark wrote.
Amazon has also increased cleaning at all sites, CNBC reported.
The company now requires that employees sanitize and clean work stations and vehicles before and after each shift.
“People are going to be buying less of everything. The stock market is down and wiping out people’s nest eggs,” Zandi said. “They’re worried ‘Am I going to get sick? Are my parents going to get sick?’ That’s a prescription for people going into the bunker and for job losses.”
Zandi said small businesses are likely to face the toughest going.
“I think large companies are going to be slower to lay off. They are going to try to get through this,” he said. “But a lot of these small businesses don’t have the cash to weather the storm. It’s not obvious to me how we help them. It’s tough for the government to try to get cash and credit to small businesses.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.