In an effort to enforce social distance due to the coronavirus pandemic, many employers have begun shutting down and cutting staff, either temporarily or permanently. In the past week, around 70,000 people in the U.S. filed for unemployment benefits. In response, several major companies have ramped up hiring.

As the demand for online shopping grows in the time of self-isolation, Amazon has announced its intention to hire 100,000 new warehouse employees. To incentivize this, it has raised the base pay for these positions to $17-an-hour from $15 and raised its overtime pay rates.

“While most of the hires will stay with the company through at least April, we do anticipate there will be opportunities to stay with Amazon in a longer temporary or permanent role,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Walmart is even more ambitious, with plans to hire 150,000 new employees. These positions are meant to be temporary but some are planned to be moved to permanent jobs down the line. In addition, the retail giant has promised to pay bonuses of $300 for full-time workers and $150 for part-timers in April.

Grocery stores are also planning to bring on new staff as Americans flock to stores to stock up for extended periods of quarantine. Regional chain Kroger has announced its intention to hire some 10,000 new employees, while Safeway is looking to add 2,000 workers to its California locations. Additionally, convenience store chain 7-Eleven plans on hiring 20,000 new employees.

Specialty grocery chain Trader Joe’s has also announced that it will be giving its current employees bonuses due to increased activity in recent weeks. It has not discussed intentions to hire more staff at this time.

As customers continue to order takeout from their self-isolation, food delivery services and fast-food restaurants are also planning to bolster their staff. Domino's, in particular, has plans to hire 10,000 more employees to meet customer demand. The popular pizza chain has also recently offered deals on its entire menu and introduced contact-free delivery options.

Online retailers are experiencing a surge in orders as consumers turn to them during the coronavirus outbreak Online retailers are experiencing a surge in orders as consumers turn to them during the coronavirus outbreak Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / BRUCE BENNETT