By now, the job market has begun to see the wrath of the coronavirus epidemic.
Some 18% of workers reported either losing their jobs or working shortened work schedules due to the outbreak. With social distancing becoming a measure to combat the spread of the infection, most businesses have been forced to close and rely on measures of online business to stay afloat until there’s a better understanding of containing the coronavirus.
Some will survive and most won’t. What the outlook for the jobs market after the coronavirus crisis ends in the US remains unknown. As projections for how long the COVID-19 outbreak will last continue to climb and with each passing day, it’s become inevitable that a recession is looming, which will mean significant job cuts across the board.
The Wall Street Journal surveyed 34 economists who projected the wrath of the coronavirus crisis could rival the 2007-09 recession, with one economist believing between 7 and 8 million jobs will be lost this spring. Goldman Sachs projects unemployment to rise to 9%, a massive hike compared to the current number (3.5%), according to the report.
Early signs of how the coronavirus is hurting jobs came last week when the Labor Department reported Thursday that new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 70,000, which was the largest spike in applications in nearly two years.
While Americans wonder what tomorrow will bring, there has been a recent boom in some industries looking to hire during the coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon announced its hiring 100,000 full-time and part-time employees across fulfillment centers and delivery networks in the US to keep up with customers’ demands during the pandemic.
Dollar General said in a statement Monday it’s hiring up to 50,000 new employees to support operations by the end of April. The company said it plans to nearly double its normal hiring rate in order to meet customers’ needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Dollar General operates more than 16,000 stores scattered across 45 states in the US.
CVS Health announced it will award bonuses ranging from $150 to $500 to employees who have been working during the Coronavirus outbreak. Those eligible will be pharmacists, health-care professionals, store associates and managers, and some hourly employees. In addition, the company plans to immediately fill 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary roles across the country, according to a statement.
“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” Larry J. Merlo, CVS Health President and CEO, said in a statement. “As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times.”
Other companies like convenience store 7-Eleven said it would hiring 20,000 new store employees to meet demands. Pizza chain Domino’s also announced it’s looking to hire up to 10,000 workers to help operations as people shift to takeout or delivery due to the outbreak.
There have also been apps designed to help people out of work look for opportunities during the crisis. Fox Business reported the mission of MyWorkChoice, an app that aims to connect job seekers with business owners in 24 hours.
“Right now, we can process and get someone into work within 24 hours,” MyWorkChoice CEO Tana Greene said in the report.