San Diego grocery stores hiring to address demand amid virus

grocery store checkout
Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 19:39:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As grocery stores work to fill consumer demand created by the coronavirus pandemic, several San Diego stores are hiring.

Albertsons and Vons locations in the San Diego area are working to fill about 1,000 jobs, a spokesperson told 10News. So far, more than 200 of the positions have been filled and locations are actively conducting interviews.

"We have a high volume of applications and still have many more jobs to fill," the spokesperson said.

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Parent company Albertsons Companies is in the process of hiring about 30,000 new employees to respond to the demand. Under the federal government, supermarkets are considered "critical infrastructure" and are required to operate during the crisis.

The openings are welcomed relief for not only grocery employees, but those seeking work as well.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic created havoc on the economy, California has seen unemployment claims skyrocket. For the week ending March 21, the state saw a 363 percent increase in claims year-over-year:

  • Week ending March 7, 2020: 48,385
  • Week ending March 14, 2020: 57,606
  • Week ending March 21, 2020: 186,809

“We know there are many Californians who are really struggling to provide for their families because of the massive economic impact created by the Coronavirus,” said EDD Director Sharon Hilliard. “Unemployment benefits provide critical financial support and the EDD is employing all means necessary to get benefit payments out to those in need.”

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Albertsons Companies says it is partnering with a handful of major companies to offer their furlough workers part-time jobs at supermarkets as well.

“The most valuable asset and the core of any business is people, and we are working hard with many Human Resource teams across a variety of businesses who are actively defining next steps for their employees,” said Albertsons Companies President and CEO Vivek Sankaran. “So many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors are scaling back hours or temporarily closing as their customers remain home and adhere to shelter-in-place orders. We are grateful to be a resource to help fill a critical need in our own business and take care of people who want to continue working during this time of national emergency.”