Difficulty Meeting the Demand of Covid-19
Delivery and warehouse jobs have been on the rise since Covid-19 has created a need for social distancing and a widespread call for individuals to stay at home when at all possible. In response, Amazon announced that it was hiring 100,000 workers in March, and created an additional 75,000 positions in April.
Though Amazon increased the pay and benefits for their workers, they still saw staged protests at three of their facilities. Among workers’ complaints was a lack of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
Meanwhile, customers are struggling with delays in orders and outright inaccessibility for some items. Amazon is no longer accepting new grocery delivery customers and continues to struggle with meeting the demand for existing orders.
Gig Work Increases Amid the Coronavirus
A growing number of businesses are restructuring their operations to meet the increased demand for deliveries due to the coronavirus. Orders are increasing for companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub. Instacart announced that it would hire another 300,000 shoppers to help meet the influx of orders.
When job postings from March 9 are compared to those from the same week in 2017, there’s a 78% increase in food delivery jobs, a 36% increase in jobs for transportation and storage workers, and a 9% increase for drivers. Gig workers who are interested in taking these kinds of jobs find themselves with a wealth of options, even as unemployment in the country soars.
New Startups Meet Delivery Demand
Despite the spike in hiring, not all companies have been able to meet the demand for delivery services. This is where local startups like Smart Shop have stepped in. Smart Shop has posted a number of delivery jobs for employees who handle customers’ shopping lists, picking up the specified items from local stores and delivering them to individuals’ doors.
Delivery jobs like these are increasing rapidly because they meet a two-fold demand. Unemployed workers or college students who are out of school amid the Covid-19 pandemic have access to gig work while customers who are heeding stay at home orders and practicing social distancing enjoy a safe way to get the groceries that they need.
Though the coronavirus has boosted the demand for delivery drivers, this is a trend that was in evidence prior to the pandemic as well. It’s likely that delivery jobs will remain a staple of the US economy long into the future.