As layoffs continue to mount at small businesses and in the airline, hotel and hospitality industries, other employers are busier than ever meeting demands sparked by the coronavirus crisis. And they need more workers to keep up.
As shutdowns of nonessential businesses occur in Maryland and across the United States, “the impact to travel, retail, leisure and hospitality is causing the first massive wave of layoffs,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in an announcement Monday.
At the same time, food retailers and those involved in delivering an array of goods to consumers at home have seen demand spike and are stepping up hiring. Amazon, for one, said Monday that it plans to add more than 1,500 new jobs throughout Maryland, including more than 1,000 at its fulfillment centers in eastern Baltimore County and on Broening Highway in Baltimore.
Since the start of the outbreak in the U.S., companies have announced more than 14,000 job cuts, Challenger said Monday.
But the number of losses is likely much higher, in the millions, the employment firm said, from the closure of stores, bars and restaurants and cancellations of flights, conferences and concerts. The decrease in that leisure business could threaten more than 14 million jobs, according to the firm’s analysis of U.S. Department of Labor retail job numbers.
With the business closures has come a boost in demand at supermarkets and for online retail, shipping and delivery services, Challenger said. Besides Amazon, which said it planned to hire 100,000 more workers, grocers and gig services such as Instacart and Grubhub need workers.
Some companies that are hiring or boosting pay in the Baltimore area include:
Walmart: In response to strong demand in stores, Walmart plans to hire more than 1,800 people in Maryland to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers.
It’s part of the retailer’s plans to hire 150,000 nationwide through the end of May.
Walmart said it will offer more than $365 million in cash bonuses to every hourly worker employed by the company as of March 1 — $300 for full-time hourly workers and $150 for part-time hourly workers — which will pay out April 2.
Walmart also will pay the next scheduled quarterly bonus for workers a month early.
Giant Food: Giant is hiring part-time and full-time store clerks, pharmacy technicians, delivery drivers and warehouse workers across the region.
Giant, in partnership with union locals representing workers, also announced that effective Sunday through May 2, all current hourly workers in stores and distribution centers will receive a 10 percent increase in pay for hours worked.
“We recognize that our associates are doing extraordinary work to serve our communities during the COVID-10 pandemic,” said Daniel Wolk, a spokesman for Giant.
Weis Markets: In the Baltimore metro area, Weis has stepped up store-level hiring due to unprecedented demand.
Weis is hiring full- and part-time cashiers, stockers and those with retail and department management experience, said Weis Markets spokesman Dennis Curtin.
The grocer also is hiring at its distribution center in Milton, Pennsylvania. Weis said it began paying its store-level, hourly workers an additional $2 per hour during the COVID-19 crisis. The temporary increase took effect Sunday.
“I know how hard it has been to remain in stock on the high-demand products customers are looking for and that serving them during these stressful times isn’t always easy,” Weis CEO Jonathan Weis said in an announcement. “But we know you’re getting the job done.”
Klein’s ShopRite Supermarkets and Pharmacies: All Klein’s ShopRite stores continue to hire staff and to offer a $2-per-hour premium both to current and new employees.
Sprouts Farmers Market: Throughout Maryland, Sprouts is filling more than 110 positions in its stores, from hourly part-time roles to management jobs.
Candidates can apply online at sprouts.com/careers or by texting “careers” to 480-800-8056. The grocer is not encouraging walk-in applications.
Safeway: Safeway is hiring for immediate openings for store and distribution center employees and delivery drivers, a spokeswoman said.
Safeway has about 1,000 openings at stores in its Eastern division, with positions in deli, meat, bakery, produce, customer service, fuel stations, Drive Up & Go, delivery, cashier and courtesy clerk. Job applicants can apply in person at a local store or go online to: albertsonscompanies.com/careers/safeway-careers.html
“Grocery stores are the cornerstone of the community and are deemed an essential service," said Tom Lofland, Safeway’s Eastern Division president. “If your job has been impacted by COVID-19, we are offering permanent or temporary employment that can help bridge the gap.”
Harris Teeter: Harris Teeter plans to hire more than 5,000 people for its more than 250 stores in seven states and Washington and for distribution centers to meet high demand for food and household products. Candidates can apply at harristeeter.jobs
“We are committed to helping our neighbors-in-need, including the many restaurant and food service industry employees that have been displaced from their jobs," said Rod Antolock, president of Harris Teeter.
Green Valley Marketplace and Food Depot: B. Green & Co. needs licensed truck drivers and stockers and cashiers in stores. The business also needs people for service departments such as deli. Experience is helpful and pay is based on experience.
Amazon: Amazon said it has 100,000 full-time and part-time fulfillment and delivery jobs available across the U.S., including the 1,500 in Maryland.
Workers can start as soon as seven days with no resume or previous work experience required. The minimum pay of $17 an hour includes an additional $2 per hour through April. For more, go to amazon.jobs.
H&S Bakery: Baltimore-based H&S Bakery said Friday that it plans to ramp up production and hire more than 50 workers to meet a surge in demand for bread and rolls from its Baltimore-area grocery store customers.
The commercial baker in Fells Point said it is looking both for temporary and permanent employees for its five Baltimore-area operations, including its Fells Point bakery headquarters, Mid-Atlantic Baking, Crispy Bagel, Schmidt and Automatic Rolls of Baltimore.
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Brightview Senior Living: The Baltimore-based senior housing operator is hiring for all 15 locations in Maryland, including seven in the Baltimore area, and paying a premium to new employees because of COVID-19. The company has dining, hospitality and caregiver jobs open. It is looking to hire hospitality employees who are out of work and typically have similar skill sets.
Maryland Cleaning and Abatement: The firm, which handles abatement of asbestos, lead paint and mold, has taken on extra work sanitizing schools and commercial buildings such as offices. It expects to take on additional work cleaning state buildings in Baltimore and Annapolis as well as some public schools.
The company has 38 full-time workers, has hired eight more, including some college students who have returned home, and may hire 20-50 more, said Vice President Bob Wiglesworth.
Workers, who start at $15 an hour, will be trained. Applicants can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dunbar Security Solutions. The security company said it has immediate openings for full- and part-time security guards in Baltimore, Baltimore and Prince George’s counties, and Ocean City. Candidates need a state-approved security guard license to qualify. Candidates can apply at dunbarsecuritysolutions.com or 443-318-7668.
Kennedy Krieger Institute: Kennedy Krieger needs essential staff for its Neurobehavioral Unit, an inpatient facility in Baltimore that treats behavior disorders in children with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. The unit is seeking applicants for full- and part-time clinical assistant jobs. Starting wages are $14.26 an hour without a college degree and $14.76 an hour with a college degree. Applicants can go to www.kennedykrieger.org/careers and do a keyword search for “Clinical Assistant."