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Amazon opens 100K new jobs to keep up with coronavirus demand

Warehouses are temporarily restricted to staples

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Amazon is raising wages and opening 100,000 new positions across the US to ensure its delivery network can withstand the coronavirus pandemic.

press release notes both full-time and part-time positions will be made available to meet unprecedented seasonal labor needs in its fulfilment centers

“Getting a priority item to your doorstep is vital as communities practice social-distancing, particularly for the elderly and others with underlying health issues,” said Amazon.

The ecommerce giant also pledged over $350 million to raising wages by $2 per hour in the US, £2 per hour in the UK, and “approximately” €2 per hour in many countries in the EU throughout April, a commitment worth over $350 million.

[Read: Amazon to sell its cashierless Just Walk Out tech to third party stores]

Amazon added those impacted by job cuts in the hospitality, travel, and restaurant sectors are welcome “until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back.” On Monday, The New York Times reported that unemployment claims in the US have spiked similarly to post-9/11.

Amazon will only allow ‘important’ items into warehouses

In an additional bulletin published Tuesday, the Seattle-based mega-corp announced it would limit its warehouses to important items such as medicine and households staples to ensure they meet demand.

According to NBC, high-demand goods include groceries, pet supplies, beauty and personal care products, health and household items, baby products, and industrial items.

So far, there have been 4,556 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US (John Hopkins University) but due to a lack of testing the true number is most probably much higher.

Multiple states have now closed places of entertainment in a bid to “flatten the curve,” including bars and dine-in restaurants. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut recently banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

Published March 17, 2020 — 14:56 UTC

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