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Walmart wants to hire 150,000 temporary workers as coronavirus pandemic continues

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, file photo, a Walmart logo forms part of a sign outside a Walmart store, in Walpole, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(CNN) — Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, plans to hire 150,000 temporary workers by the end of May as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep through the country.

The company said it is hiring the associates to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers.

“These roles will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time,” Walmart said in a press release. “We’ve reached out to industry groups representing restaurants and hospitality to facilitate temporary roles that can be a bridge for their employees during this difficult time.”

The company said it plans to expedite the application time from two weeks to 24 hours.

“We know millions of Americans who are usually employed at this time are temporarily out of work, and at the same time we’re currently seeing strong demand in our stores,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart. “We’re looking for people who see Walmart as a chance to earn some extra money and perform a vital service to their community.”

Walmart has a workforce of about 1.5 million US workers. During the holidays, the company often focuses on giving additional hours to some workers instead of bringing on new hires.

But the coronavirus is pushing the company to bring on new workers to help meet the crush of demand.

Walmart also said it will hand out cash bonuses to employees. Full-time hourly workers will receive $300, while part-time hourly workers will receive $150. The company added that it will speed up the next scheduled quarterly bonus for associates. The special bonus and early payout will total nearly $550 million.

Other major companies are also on hiring sprees.

On Tuesday, Amazon said the coronavirus outbreak has caused a surge in online shopping, and the online giant is adding 100,000 new full-time and part-time positions across the United States to keep up with the demand.

And pizza chain Domino’s is looking to hire up to 10,000 workers as people shift their eating habits to takeout or delivery amid restrictions surrounding the pandemic.