Amazon, Walmart, Lowe’s and others are hiring to fill 434,000 job openings amid coronavirus demand

Many employees in the U.S. are holding their breath, waiting to see if their jobs will be the next to disappear as authorities order businesses to close and residents to stay home in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus. At the same time, hiring is ramping up in some sectors.

Some 70,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week –– one of the biggest one-week increases ever. As more Americans practice social distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, layoffs are occurring in sectors that rely on foot traffic, such as brick-and-mortar retail, hospitality, and restaurants and bars.

But the good news is that layoffs aren’t happening across the board. In fact, a wave of unprecedented demand in certain sectors is sending some employers on hiring sprees.

Walmart Inc. WMT, -4.89% said last week it plans to hire 150,000 new workers. The retailer also said it would give full-time employees who are paid hourly a bonus of $300 each, and part-time hourly employees a bonus of $150 on April 2, MarketWatch reported. The Walmart jobs will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time, the company said.

Amazon AMZN, -2.79% announced plans to hire 100,000 new employees to handle an influx of e-commerce orders and deliveries as more Americans stay home.

The openings are across the U.S. in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, Amazon Go Stores, Whole Foods stores, and in deliveries. “While most of the hires will stay with the company through at least April, we do anticipate there will be opportunities to stay with Amazon in a longer temporary or permanent role,” an Amazon spokeswoman said.

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