This year started with the dream of a new decade that many hoped would bring great fortunes. Three months in and that dream has become the stuff of nightmares. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of businesses and employees now find themselves in a gloomy situation. Many companies have shut down their operations entirely, translating to employee layoffs.
In the U.S., about 74% of states demand that all employers provide workers’ compensation coverage. However, the policy provides medical care, disability, rehab benefits for employees who suffer an injury while on the job. If you’re out of a job thanks to COVID-19, that policy won’t do you a world of good — and you may not even have healthcare coverage due to being laid off. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to restrict economic activity, over half of U.S. jobs are now at risk. And while public health is certainly a shared concern, many Americans are wondering how they’ll survive — even if they manage to not be infected by the novel coronavirus.
If you’re stuck at home and currently jobless, you might be at wit’s end. You’re probably wondering how you’ll keep the lights on and stock up on some hard-to-come-by toilet paper. There might just be a hint of calm in the eye of the COVID-19 storm. Several companies and industries are still looking for talented workers to fill specific roles. Here’s what you might want to look for.
Nursing is Needed
Some of the most sought-after jobs currently lie in the healthcare sector. Nursing jobs are particularly of interest, given the nationwide strain on health services. States such as Washington, California, New York, and Maryland account for 61% of healthcare support openings. If you have the necessary qualifications and are physically able, you might even be able to travel where healthcare help is needed.
Grocery Stores Are Hiring
One sector that has seen a boom in service demand is grocery stores. As Americans stock up food and other essentials, chains such as Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, Wegmans, and Costco are all hiring staff. If stocking shelves just happens to be your thing, now is the perfect time to put purpose into your passion. Other jobs available include cashiering and grocery delivery.
Amazon Needs Help
The multibillion, e-commerce titan is reportedly hiring more than 100,000 new employees to meet the increased online demand. The company has over 110 fulfillment centers all over the country that cater to customer orders. These warehouses serve as both stores and distribution centers where associates can pick, pack, and ship their orders. Amazon has agreed to raise hourly wages in its fulfillment centers, with an extra $2 per hour over the local hourly pay rate.
Internet-Based Opportunities Abound
In 2018, only 72% of IT service providers had disaster recoveries in place. Even so, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, internet-based jobs are in high-demand — perhaps now more than ever. There are a variety of opportunities in sectors such as advertising, marketing, and writing, to name a few. If you happen to be a stenographer — a job that requires individuals to type at least 225 words per minute — then consider putting to use your excellent typing skills by applying for a customer service role for online stores.
Uncle Sam Wants You
Way before COVID-19 became the global focus, you might recall that the U.S. government had scheduled a nationwide census. Now, the federal government is seeking the services of hundreds of thousands of Americans to help make the 2020 census a possibility. Working hours will vary from state to state and also depend on the position, but workers are being paid weekly. Being a census taker requires minimal human contact, but if you’re worried about contracting COVID-19, you could apply for a position that keeps you away from the field.
Food Delivery is a Must
One of the worst-hit sectors following the pandemic has been food and restaurant businesses. With the government ordering a shut down of many restaurants to help implement social-distancing policies, a lot of restaurants have resorted to food deliveries as a way of maintaining the business. Platforms such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and Postmates are embracing no-contact delivery policies to help prioritize customer and employee safety.
Cleaning Companies Are In-Demand
There’s been a massive surge in demand for proper sanitation. Given this rise in demand, a lot of the businesses that remain open are placing a high priority on cleanliness to try and curb the spread of the virus-related illness. Recently, there’s been a huge 75% spike in listings for janitors and cleaning companies. Universities, office parks, and hotels are some of the critical drivers of this demand as they try to keep their premises squeaky clean.
What’s the Impact on Solopreneurs and Small Businesses?
Solo entrepreneurs and small businesses also face a considerable hurdle in trying to survive the turbulent times. Unlike large corporations, these smaller companies have less of a financial buffer they can rely on. If you happen to be a solopreneur, you have to come up with innovative ways to help maintain your business’s sustainability.
As a small business owner, you could apply for a tax refund from the Treasury Department if you think a refund is due. You’ll have to submit all your forms and file your taxes as soon as possible so that you can claim this money. Additionally, you could also apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration, which is now offering different kinds of loans to small businesses. Under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, a lot of small businesses can apply for direct loans from the SBA at interest rates that range from 2.75 to 3.75%.
Another viable option for your small business is to explore private sector programs. Facebook, for instance, said that they would offer $100 million in grants for small businesses. You could also try to renegotiate the terms of your contracts by talking to your landlord and ask for more time to pay your rent. In the end, the objective is to help keep your business afloat until the COVID-19 pandemic dies down.
The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has hit the U.S. economy where it hurts. The massive job cuts and business closures have led to an economic contraction with estimates saying the pandemic is likely to cost the economy a massive $1 trillion. But with every dark cloud comes a silver lining; in this case, Americans can still hope for respite because new jobs are created daily in various sectors. These are tough times indeed, but keep your head up and apply for any of the mentioned jobs as you wait for this wretched virus to pass.