COVID-19

While many face unemployment, Amazon ramps up hiring during COVID-19

Kimberly Adams Mar 17, 2020
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Amazon says it will pay workers at least $17 an hour to work during the pandemic. Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

While many face unemployment, Amazon ramps up hiring during COVID-19

Kimberly Adams Mar 17, 2020
Amazon says it will pay workers at least $17 an hour to work during the pandemic. Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

More than half of the jobs in the U.S. could be at risk as COVID-19 continues to limit economic activity, according to Moody’s Analytics. But there’s also some brisk hiring.

Amazon says it’s going to hire an additional 100,000 full- and part-time workers. That’s because the company is seeing a surge in demand as more people are staying at home.

“Obviously, people are going to make more use of home deliveries, it makes perfect sense,” said Dan Griswold, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center. “And Amazon’s in a good position to ramp up and meet demand.”

Amazon says it will pay workers at least $17 an hour to work during the pandemic.

Brick-and-mortar grocery chains like Safeway and Kroger are also recruiting more workers.

“There are certain crucial jobs that people will have to still go to work even as we adjust to new lifestyle. And that’s just sort of how it is,” said Kate Bahn, labor economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

These companies are hiring people to go to work, so that others can avoid going out as much as possible.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.