BEIJING — For those temporarily idle due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Walmart is now offering an unusual answer.
The global retail giant is offering part-time jobs to those who are out of work amid the epidemic, as supermarkets need more staff due to robust shopping demand during this period.
The job-sharing model is gaining popularity among retail players in China. Growing online orders of fresh produce for cooking meals at home are creating temporary jobs for many, especially in the catering sector.
Such innovation has helped the country keep the people away from virus while working.
Recruitment fairs are giving way to online enrollment and interviews. The country’s human resources ministry is encouraging local employment agencies to digitalize their services.
Chinese authorities have urged local governments to take care of employees in places hit hardest by the epidemic, and offer support such as subsidies for small and medium-sized firms.
More local jobs will be created while those setting up their own businesses will enjoy financial support, an official guideline said.
Given the important role of enterprises in keeping employment stable, it is crucial to keep the affected firms, in particular small and micro businesses, afloat amid the epidemic, said Du Yang, a labor economics researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Local governments are ratcheting up efforts to keep the job market flowing as the post-Spring Festival period used to be a high employment season.
Southwest China’s Chengdu will host an online job fair next week via popular social media platform WeChat. “The door to jobs remains open online despite the closing of tradition job fairs,” said western China’s Gansu Province in a letter to migrant workers.
Recruitment releases are now free on many Chinese recruitment platforms, which are also organizing online job fairs and offering free online interview platforms for small and medium-sized enterprises and college students.
“History tells that the outbreak may only deal a limited and short-lived blow to employment. The labor demand will see a rebound with the rapid recovery of economic activities soon after the epidemic ends,” Du said.