There are thousands of jobs that need to be filled in New Jersey’s newly-designated “essential retail” sector amid the COVID-19 outbreak – and thousands of people who’ve since found themselves out of work and in need of employment.
“There are more than 8,000 available jobs, including grocery workers, warehouse and manufacturing, distribution personnel,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday in Trenton, at his daily press conference on the pandemic.
In his March 21 executive order, Murphy outlined a host of retail businesses that are allowed to keep brick and mortar locations open to provide “essential goods and services” that could keep the state going during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Those include grocery stores; pharmacies; gas stations; convenience stores; hardware and home improvement stores; banks; laundromats and dry-cleaning services; daycare centers and businesses that sell supplies for childcare; pet stores and veterinarians; printing and office supply shops; mail and delivery services; and automobile mechanic shop.
Convenience store chain Wawa has 1,020 openings at 250 shops across the state and grocery chain ShopRite has 1,450 openings at 145 locations.
Shipping and logistics company UPS has 1,696 openings at seven locations across the state, while health and human services company Bayada Home Health Care is looking to fill 317 openings at 75 locations.
Many of these companies have taken other steps to ramp up their employment numbers and meet a surging demand of products.
CVS Health said Monday it would hire 50,000 new workers nationwide and provide bonuses between $150 and $500 for hires to assist patients and customers at its facilities.
Amazon said it would bring on 3,600 new hires in New Jersey to meet soaring demand for online and home delivery, as millions of state residents isolate themselves and self-quarantine.
Walmart says it is looking to hire 150,000 associates through the end of May, with more than 2,400 for New Jersey stores, clubs, and distribution and fulfillment centers.
For supply chain locations, like the company has in Pedricktown, it is offering a temporary $2 per hour increase through Memorial day for hourly workers at e-commerce fulfillment centers.
The big box store is also offering expedited hiring. According to Walmart, an applicant can apply online, be hired and begin working at a fulfillment or distribution center in a day.
BJ’s Wholesale Club and Costco, where buyers notoriously clear out the shelves of any frozen foods, cleaning products and toilet paper, are giving their workers pay increases. At BJ’s, workers will earn $2 more an hour through April 12, while at Costco is raising its hourly rate to $15 an hour.