Walmart hires 150,000 amid coronavirus crisis, plans for 50K more in headcount boost

Walmart (WMT) has already surpassed its hiring goal of 150,000 new associates in less than a month, planning to add more even as the coronavirus pandemic badly damages the economy, sparking widespread job losses.

The big-box retailer said on Friday it topped a previously stated goal to hire thousands of new workers — announcing plans to bring on another 50,000, for a total of 200,000 new hires. To keep up with demand and provide jobs for those in need, the retailer also streamlined its process to do one-day hiring “within hours” — picking up an average of 5,000 new associates per day, according to Walmart.

Amid a wrenching downturn sparked by the COVID-19 outbreak, the world’s largest retailer and biggest grocery store has gotten a widespread boost as Americans stock up on pantry staples, sanitation supplies, and paper products.

Walmart’s hiring spree reveals the depth of the outbreak’s damage on the labor market. The company said over 1 million job seekers flooded the company with applications across its stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers. Most of the applicants come from the hospitality and restaurant industry, as well as other retailers, according to the company.

It’s likely that many of those workers came from the ranks of 22 million newly jobless Americans forced to file for unemployment insurance, as nationwide lockdowns shuttered businesses and mostly locked residents indoors.

Walmart added that about 85% of the new hires are currently temporary or part-time, but those jobs may “morph” into full-time roles, executive vice president Dan Bartlett told reporters last month.

The company’s stock (WMT), which is up around 10% year-to-date, dipped 1% in Friday’s trading to trade near $131.

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter

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