Most recessions result in mass layoffs.
As the impact of COVID-19 ripples across the economy, the number of layoffs is without precedent, however, in recent American history with a reported 9.9 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks. Many millions more are likely to be impacted.
But this recession is different in another respect from past ones. Even as most employers lay off large numbers of employees and contractors struggle to find dependable work, there is a group of large employers hiring large numbers of employees.
Companies like Amazon, WalMart and CVS intend to hire nearly 500,000 Americans in the coming weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. Research at the Entangled Group, where I’m the head of strategy, suggests there are an additional 20 employers that will hire substantial numbers of employees. And organizations of a variety of stripes are likely to need to add healthcare workers on the front lines to assist with patient screening and care in the weeks ahead.
Although this volume of hiring will not make up for the mass layoffs, it can at least help many individuals and their families in these turbulent times and soften the blow for the American economy writ large.
But a big challenge exists.