Amazon says it plans to hire 100,000 new workers for warehouses and delivery service in the U.S. as more people turn to online shopping for supplies as they’re isolated at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Those positions include both full- and part-time jobs “to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time,” particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public, Amazon executive Dave Clark wrote in a blog post on Monday.
The online retailer is also temporarily increasing its pay through April. Amazon says it will add $2 per hour in the U.S. and similar amounts in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Amazon’s hiring comes at a time when many companies are forced to cut jobs and pay as travel and events grind to a halt in hopes of limiting social contact and slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
Amazon last week acknowledged that many household staples and other items on its website were unavailable and that deliveries were taking longer than usual. The company said it was working with the businesses that sell on its platform to resolve both.
Monday’s announcement invited laid-off and furloughed workers to join Amazon delivery and warehouse ranks “until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.”
Last week, the retail giant said it would provide up to two weeks of paid leave to hourly workers who get diagnosed with COVID-19 or get placed into quarantine. Amazon also allowed unlimited unpaid time off through March. In an online petition, some workers said the measures fell short, demanding paid sick leave for people without access to testing and diagnosis — as well as longer paid sick leave for those who are older 0r immunodeficient.