As the coronavirus has reached U.S. soil, bringing large parts of the economy to a standstill, many Americans have seen their employment affected. For those not lucky enough to work from home, the effects of the coronavirus has led to reduced hours, furloughs and layoffs.
While the extent of the coronavirus' effect on job losses can't be determined yet, it's obvious it's causing pain for many Americans. Countless companies have announced layoffs, while many local businesses such as restaurants have had to reduce headcount. Unemployment websites across the country have even been crashing as people rush to file for unemployment.
As the coronavirus has shifted the needs of Americans, there's a handful of companies that are increasing their headcount to meet increased demand. Some of the most notable companies are looking to hire more than 800,000 people combined.
As a result of many people practicing social distancing and choosing to remain inside, grocery delivery company Instacart announced it is looking to hire 300,000 "full-service shoppers."
"The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart's history and our teams are working around the clock to reliably and safely serve all members of our community," Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said.
Walmart announced it will hire 150,000 associates through the end of May for positions in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. The jobs will be temporary at first but Walmart says they could lead to permanent employment. The company has taken steps to fill these positions by reducing the hiring process to a 24-hour process and reaching out to industries that have seen job losses, such as the restaurant and hospitality industry.
"We know millions of Americans who are usually employed at this time are temporarily out of work, and at the same time we’re currently seeing strong demand in our stores," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said. "We’re looking for people who see Walmart as a chance to earn some extra money and perform a vital service to their community."
Amazon has also announced its intention to bulk up its workforce. Despite recently having more than 37,000 job openings, Amazon is posting another 100,000 jobs to meet demand as Americans increasingly rely on its services. Amazon is posting full and part-time positions for its fulfillment centers and delivery network.
"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," Amazon said. "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."
Other companies that are ramping up hiring include Dollar General, CVS, Albertsons, Pizza Hut, Dollar Tree, Papa John's, 7-Eleven, Domino's, Kroger, Walgreens and Pepsi.
While some of these jobs may just be temporary, it's commendable that these companies are inviting those who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus to seek employment until things return to normal.
Dead cat bounce? Stocks soared yesterday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 11%, its best day since 1933. The S&P jumped more than 9% in its best day since the financial crisis in 2008. Lastly, the Nasdaq jumped more than 8%, its best day since just a few weeks ago on March 13. Despite yesterday's rally, markets remain in a bear market and have only recovered to levels from last week. It remains to be seen if this is a sustainable move higher or a bear market rally.
GM follows Ford. Following in the footsteps of Ford, General Motors is drawing on its $16 billion revolving credit facility to maintain financial flexibility. GM has also suspended its 2020 outlook as its North American factories remain shut. "We are aggressively pursuing austerity measures to preserve cash and are taking necessary steps in this changing and uncertain environment to manage our liquidity, ensure the ongoing viability of our operations and protect our customers and stakeholders," GM CEO Mary Barra said.
Project Apollo commences. Ford, General Electric and 3M are working together on "Project Apollo" to build ventilators and respirators. Ford named the partnership after the Apollo 13 shuttle launch in 1970. "We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs," Ford CEO Jim Hackett said. The partnership hopes to get the designs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as quickly as possible so they can begin manufacturing them.
Wall Street bonuses shrink. After seeing a 3% bonus increase in 2019 to an average of $164,000, Wall Street bonuses are set to decline this year, according to a New York state financial regulator. "The securities industry had a good year in 2019, but the serious damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on financial markets and the global economy will sharply reduce industry profits this year," New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.
More cash burn. WeWork is offering members of its community teams $100 per day to continue to come into its shared workspaces amid the coronavirus outbreak. WeWork said the bonus is meant to reward those employees who continue to come into work. "In recognition of our community employee’s willingness to support our members by keeping our buildings open and operating during these extraordinary times," WeWork COO Shyam Gidumal said.