The grocery chain Kroger is hiring 10,000 people across its stores and distribution centers. Regional supermarkets like H-E-B in Texas and Stop & Shop in New England and New York are hiring, too. Amazon is also planning to hire 100,000 additional people to keep up with the crush of online orders. Since making that announcement on Monday, the company said that it had seen a 150 percent increase in applications from the previous week.
Retailers and companies in the food and medical supply chain, which are seeing demand soar, are recruiting workers directly from employers like hotels and restaurants, which have largely been shut down by the pandemic and laid off staffs en masse. A restaurant worker in Rogers, Ark., who lost his job on Thursday was working at Walmart by Friday afternoon.
Still, this rapid surge in hiring faces logistical challenges at a time when health officials are urging people to keep their distance from others and, in some states, not to leave their houses. Filling some warehouse jobs, for instance, requires the applicants to show up in person.