Amazon is on a hiring spree in the U.S. amid the coronavirus outbreak. The e-commerce giant said it is seeing a “significant increase” in online demand for products, particularly from persons most vulnerable to being out in public due to the pandemic.
Amazon is creating 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. to meet the surge in demand from people relying on its service following the coronavirus outbreak. The new job openings will be in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and its delivery network.
Amazon’s job openings come as data from John Hopkins University revealed that about 4,661 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., along with 85 deaths.
The e-commerce giant said it is welcoming people who have been economically impacted, as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of the crisis created by the COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition to the new hiring, Amazon is investing more than $350 million to raise pay through the end of April for its hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada.
Amazon said that in the U.S., it will pay an additional $2 per hour worked over the current rate of $15 per hour or more, depending on the region. The company will also pay an additional 2 pounds per hour in the UK, and approximately 2 euros per hour in many EU countries.
The company has implemented measures to promote “social distancing in the workplace” as well as taken on enhanced and frequent cleaning.
Last week, Amazon recommended that all of its employees globally who are able to work from home do so through the month of March amid the coronavirus outbreak. It plans to give paid leave for full-time and part-time workers diagnosed with coronavirus or placed into quarantine.
The company also announced the creation of an Amazon Relief Fund with an initial contribution of $25 million to serve as a pool of grant money for independent delivery drivers, seasonal employees, and others losing pay-checks due to the pandemic.