Initial weekly jobless claims soared to 3.3 million, only a few weeks after a historic low of 200,000. This highlights the whiplash workers and HR professionals are experiencing as the labor market transitions from one of the tightest on record to a likely recession. Despite the current crisis, numerous companies are actively hiring nationwide to keep up with exploding demand, according to research from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused unprecedented impact to the economy and labor market. Millions of people, many of whom previously worked primarily in Leisure and Hospitality, have found themselves without work. However, retailers, medical device makers, consumer products manufacturers, and transportation and warehousing facilities are all thriving right now. There are opportunities for those recently laid off,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior VP of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Challenger has tracked 129,000 hiring announcements from individual companies so far in March, mainly from grocery stores and retailers who are racing to keep up with demand. In addition to retailers, Pepsi is hiring 6,000 people, and Domino’s is hiring 1,000 new delivery drivers. Meanwhile, GE and 3M, which manufacture much-needed health care products, are ramping up production and will likely need to increase shifts and workers.

“Companies are definitely still hiring right now. The methods may be a bit unusual, as companies are prioritizing speed during the hiring process,” said Challenger.

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