Lots of companies have announced that they currently have tens of thousands of openings, and demand for some types of workers has grown by as much as 1,000% over the last month.
"Some newly unemployed Americans will find new jobs easily," says Julia Pollak, labor economist with the jobs website ZipRecruiter.
Here are some leads on where to look.
What jobs are available?
Though online job postings have been declining, opportunities are still available — if you know where to find them. Some employers are struggling to fill positions.
"Warehousing and delivery companies are urgently ramping up hiring to deal with the surge in demand for their services," says Pollak. "Similarly, e-commerce, telemedicine and remote work technology companies are expanding their staffs."
Here are the jobs that have seen the largest percentage increases in listings over the last four weeks, with national average pay, according to ZipRecruiter:
- Flatbed truck driver with a commercial driver's license: up 999%. Average pay: $50,954 per year.
- Warehouse handler: up 699%. Average pay: $26,755 per year.
- Insurance claims adjuster: up 431%. (These are jobs investigating claims filed with insurance companies.) Average pay: $51,007 per year.
- Online merchandising: up 354%. (These are jobs helping companies market products and make sales online.) Average pay: $60,690 per year.
- Warehouse attendant: up 324%. Average pay: $13 per hour.
These other jobs have seen triple-digit percentage gains in postings:
- Truck driver trainer: up 314%. Average pay: $69,766 per year.
- Warehouse laborer: up 291%. Average pay: $26,033 per year.
- Financial sales associate: up 243%. (These are jobs selling financial products, such as insurance policies.) Average pay: $47,928 per year.
- Warehouse team member: up 237%. Average pay: $27,769 per year.
- Personal shopper: up 229%. (These are jobs doing shopping for others, including those who don't want to venture out to stores during the current pandemic.) Average pay: $29,531.
- Geriatric nursing assistant: up 189%. (These workers help provide care for elderly patients in hospitals and other facilities.) Average pay: $14 per hour.
- Grocery shopper: up 186%. (These jobs are similar to personal shopper, but specialized, obviously.) Average pay: $34,460 per year.
- Surgical nurse: up 130%. (These are nurses who assist during surgical procedures.) Average pay: $71,205 per year.
- Registered respiratory therapist: up 129%. (These are medical professionals who help patients with breathing problems, such as those sick with the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus.) Average pay: $69,148 per year.
- Intensive care nurse: up 121%. Average pay: $95,599 per year.
Which companies are hiring?
As the government was releasing its gloomy jobs news Friday morning, Ace Hardware announced plans to hire more than 30,000 people for its stores nationwide. Lowe's also just said that it has 30,000 positions to fill at its hardware and home improvement stores throughout the U.S.
Both chains say they're taking proper precautions to protect employees and shoppers.
"We are continually working on ways to protect and support our associates and our customers during this time when we are all adjusting how we work and live," said Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison.
Here are other major employers that are searching for workers, with the numbers of jobs they're trying to fill:
- Instacart: 300,000 to shop for and deliver groceries in more than 5,500 cities across the U.S.
- Walmart: 150,000 at its discount department stores and distribution and fulfillment centers.
- Amazon: 100,000, including warehouse workers and delivery drivers.
- CVS Health: 50,000, including store associates, delivery drivers, distribution center workers and customer service people.
- Dollar General: 50,000 to help staff its dollar stores in 45 states.
- Albertsons: 30,000 store associates for its supermarkets, which include the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Acme chains, among others.
- Dollar Tree/Family Dollar: 25,000 at its dollar stores and distribution centers.
- 7-Eleven: 20,000 at its convenience stores.
- Kroger: 20,000 at its supermarkets across the U.S.
- Walgreens: 9,500 at its pharmacies nationwide.
- Target: 9,000 at its stores and distribution centers.
The available jobs are a mix of full and part time, permanent and temporary. Some of the companies also have announced pay hikes: For example, Amazon is paying an extra $2 an hour ($17 instead of $15) through April, and Lowe's also is temporarily increasing pay by $2 per hour.
Plus, some employers are paying bonuses to their existing workers. For example, CVS employees can receive up to $500, and Walmart is giving its full-time store associates $300.
How do you land a job during the pandemic?
Even in the best of times, landing a job takes some effort — and right now people who want jobs face a great deal of competition, because so many Americans are out of work.
Here are some tips for finding an opportunity and standing out among the other applicants during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Sign up with a job listings site like ZipRecruiter, so you'll be notified whenever jobs matching your skills are posted.
- Be open to taking freelance or contract work to keep yourself busy and keep your skills fresh. Use the freelancing site Fiverr to find plenty of companies looking for freelance or contract workers right now.
- Use your downtime to make sure your resume is polished and up to date. MyPerfectResume makes it easy to create a resume with templates and tips. Don't forget to straighten up your LinkedIn profile as well.
- Never stop networking. Use email, texts and social media to stay in touch with friends and former co-workers, so you can be sure they know that you're looking for work and will alert you to any openings they hear about.
- Look for online resources to boost your abilities. Free online classes and YouTube videos can help you learn new skills that will make you more marketable in the long run.