Instacart plans to hire an additional 300,000 "full-service" contractors to help it deliver groceries to people during the coronavirus pandemic. With so many individuals and families stuck inside as a result of social distancing measures and shelter in place orders in states like California, Instacart says order volume has increased by 150 percent over the last few weeks, with people buying more per cart as well.
The company currently operates in about 5,500 cities across the United States and Canada. Instacart's plan will see it hire broadly in states like California and New York. In the former, for instance, it plans to bring on approximately 54,000 new full-time shoppers. In other states like Texas and Florida, it will hire thousands of new contractors as well, and provide them with paid sick leave if they're diagnosed with COVID-19 or need to self-isolate.
With just how much the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the economy, it's likely a lot of people who are desperate for work will take on these delivery jobs, which will put them at higher risk of getting sick. As a consumer, you can use Instacart's new contactless delivery option to help keep those people safe.
Correction, 3/24/20, 10:15AM ET: This story and headline originally referred to these workers are "full-time." In Instacart's language, these workers are "full-service," but they are still independent contractors, not employees. We apologize for the error.