Some Minnesota businesses looking to hire as unemployment spikes

With so many people now out of work for another month, or maybe even longer, unemployment applications are now hitting new records as the ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic continues. At the same time, many employers are looking to add staff -- some temporary and some permanently.

Nine days into a bar and restaurant shutdown, places like Wildcats in Eagan, Minnesota are relying on regulars calling for takeout.

It keeps the owner and two cooks working just a handful of hours and 16 other employees are unemployed.

"They got their last paycheck today from the week when we were open," explained owner George Dahmah. "From now on until May -- hopefully it doesn’t last that long -- there’s no paycheck for any of them, including me."

In Minnesota, from March 16 through Wednesday, more than 182,000 unemployment filings with 17,000 more on Wednesday alone. Nationally, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, quadruple a record set in 1982.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is posting a blog about who is hiring for those laid-off. Among them, grocery stores are now all looking for workers, especially keeping shelves stocked and with extra disinfecting efforts.

Walmart is adding 150,000 jobs across the country. U.S. Bank, Hormel, Target and Amazon all offering temporary bonuses or pay increases.

Of 3,650 jobs posted on the state’s online job board last week, 23 percent are in health care.

"We could get them onboarded as soon as next week," said Pam Engle with New Perspectives Senior Living, which has 11 locations in Minnesota. "We could hire several hundred people, in a whole lot of positions. We have caregivers, we have med passers, we have nurses, executive directors, servers, cooks -- a variety of positions all throughout the Twin Cities."

They hope people can fill those permanently while bars and restaurants hope their workers come back. Owners thank the community for helping in the meantime.

"On every order, we’ve been getting good tips," said Dahmah. "People calling, they want to support, regulars and some people I’ve never seen before."

For a list of some of the companies hiring right now, you can click here.