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4 Stocks Bucking the Layoff Trend Amid Coronavirus Scare

Suranjana Roy

The coronavirus pandemic has till now taken more than 81,000 lives across 100 countries and counting. In order to counter this menace, countries across the globe are taking necessary steps to shut down public places, shops, educational institutions and offices and advocating social distancing. But the list of problems doesn’t end here.

Deadly Blow to the Economy

Apart from straining the global healthcare system and disrupting daily dives, the pandemic has left businesses around the world in a lurch. The world economy witnessed a major shift with stock markets hitting an all-time low, thereby wiping off a major portion of shareholders’ wealth. Markedly, as the Dow index lost 37% of its value through Mar 23, thousands of investors were alarmed at the unexpected lockdown of economic activities globally. Moreover, the pandemic has drastically impacted production activities. According to a UN trade agency, the economic meltdown is anticipated to cost the global economy $1 trillion in 2020, sparking fears of global recession and high rates.

With the economy currently facing a supply shock, factories are either adopting cost-cutting strategies to ease production activities and eliminate redundant operations or are forced to shut down, thereby resulting in mass layoffs. In order to address this serious issue, the Trump administration has concerted its efforts to work on a specific bill that will spur employment opportunities in hard-hit industries. Despite these proactive measures, it is estimated that the United States is likely to witness a steep increase in unemployment in the days to come.


Kudos to 4 Job Providers

However, there are certain companies which are bucking the layoff trend amid this global outbreak. With demand for essential food and healthcare items skyrocketing, grocery stores, pharmacies, food delivery services, security services, e-commerce warehouses and logistics are in need of more people. These companies are now hiring in response to coronavirus-sparked demand, thereby providing temporary relief for job seekers.  Let us see how such companies are contributing to the social cause in these testing times.

Walmart Inc. WMT: Headquartered in Bentonville, AR, the retail giant, which operates a chain of grocery and discount department stores, is currently ramping up its workforce to tackle increased online and offline traffic because of COVID-19 pandemic. It announced recruitment of nearly 150,000 employees, mainly cashiers and stockers, across the United States for its stores, fulfillment and distribution centers. With a promise to accelerate the hiring process to just a day, the company also ensured that it will take necessary steps to convert these temporary jobs into full-time roles with an aim to effectively serve the needs of the community in the long run.

Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN: With a total strength of approximately 750,000 employees, the Seattle, WA-based tech giant, which primarily focuses on e-commerce and digital streaming, recently announced 100,000 new jobs across the United States. Amazon has encountered a steep surge in online shopping as customers are forced to stay at home to reduce exposure to the deadly virus. In order to address this burgeoning demand for goods and services, the company is taking necessary steps to ramp up staffing in three main categories — shoppers, warehouses and delivery drivers. Notably, the positions at warehouses are primarily based at Amazon sort and fulfillment centers. People recruited at shoppers will be responsible for picking and packing grocery foods at the multinational supermarket chain — Whole Foods Market. The delivery drivers, on the other hand, are responsible for making timely deliveries to numerous homes and businesses. To add to that, Amazon is also establishing a relief fund to support its delivery worker
s and seasonal employees with two weeks of paid leave, in case they are diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

GE Healthcare: Headquartered in Chicago, IL, this manufacturer and distributor of diagnostic imaging agents and radiopharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of an American multinational conglomerate — General Electric Company GE. The healthcare giant has lately been taking necessary steps to support governments, customers and the healthcare community, at large, in response to the surging demand for health supplies because of coronavirus fears and lockdowns. As a result, it has hired dedicated teams of well-trained employees to increase manufacturing of advanced medical equipment like ultrasound devices and ventilators. Apart from hiring additional manufacturing employees, the company is also collaborating with numerous global regulators to address customer queries, with the help of its clinical and technical know-how. As the situation worsens, it is not leaving any stone unturned to seamlessly manage its supply-chain operations to ensure that the patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are provided with timely treatment.

CVS Health Corporation CVS: Based in Woonsocket, RI, this healthcare company owning a retail pharmacy chain recently announced that it is planning to hire approximately 50,000 store workers, delivery drivers and customer service employees to tackle the unprecedented demand for healthcare goods and drugstore services. With more and more customers staying back at home, CVS is witnessing panic buying of huge volumes of medical supplies and health items. As a result, delivery volume has gone up nearly 300%. Reckoned to be the most ambitious employment drive in the company’s history, the drugstore chain aims to leverage virtual job fairs for the recruitment process and also plans to re-hire furloughed employees from major hospitality companies like Marriott and Hilton.

Moving Forward

With the pandemic making things worse, it is crucial for the governments of various countries to act promptly to tide over the situation. With Europe currently facing recession, governments are devising streamlined monetary policies and encouraging extra public spending to achieve sustainable growth in this distressful period. Moreover, governments are collaborating with private sector entities to implement well-targeted healthcare policies starting from work-from-home initiatives and social distancing to worldwide lockdowns, while providing additional benefits. The initiative by some companies to offer job opportunities to a large section of unemployed people further stand them in a good stead.

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