TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – More than 281,000 people filed for unemployment benefits between March 8 and 14, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

For the two-thirds of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, the coronavirus pandemic is impacting daily life in a major way.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association is reporting four million jobs have been lost across the hotel industry, with more than 300,000 of those being lost in Florida alone.

Locally, job agencies are seeing a spike in people desperate to find work to pay the bills.

“Our physical offices are closed, however, we are working with job seekers and employers over the phone and through Skype and Zoom,” CareerSource spokeswoman Jen Zak said.

Two weeks ago, there were 20 new user registrations on employflorida.com specifically for Manatee and Sarasota counties. Last Thursday, registrations jumped to 208.

“It’s a significant enough increase that I can confidently say is due to people filing for unemployment benefits,” Zak said.

CareerSource Tampa Bay has seen a similar influx in people looking for assistance finding work. They tell us they’re averaging more than 400 calls per day this week alone.

“Prior to this week, we averaged about 160 calls per day,” CareerSource spokesman Doug Tobin said.

Source: CareerSource Tampa Bay

Last week, the agency week had 1,601 calls, trending to surpass February’s total of 4,063 calls all month.

Who’s hiring?

Dollar General said it would be hiring up to 50,000 people to support operations in its 16,300 locations across the country. To apply for one of those positions, click here.

Over the weekend, Walmart said it planned to hire an additional 150,000 new employees with intentions to give full-time employees who are paid hourly a bonus of $300 each, and part-time hourly employees a bonus of $150 on April 2. Walmart is accepting applications here.

Amazon also announced plans to hire 100,000 new employees as online retail orders increase with Americans staying home. The retailer said it plans to temporarily pay a minimum wage of $17 an hour. You can apply for a job with amazon here.

PepsiCo announced Monday afternoon that it would be hiring “aggressively” in the Tampa Bay area for temporary employees to keep up with increased shipping, deliveries and shelf stocking. Those interested can apply here.

Publix announced last week that it was also planning to hire thousands of additional support staff. Applications are currently being accepted here.

CVS Health currently has more than 2,500 openings in Florida, but that number is expected to grow after the retailer announced on Monday that it would hire an additional 50,000 employees as coronavirus spread throughout the country. You can find job listings for CVS here.

Instacart plans to hire 300,000 more employees nationally to keep up with increased demand. To sign up to be an Instacrt shopper, click here.

Papa Johns is also planning to hire 20,000 new employees across the country. People interested in applying can click here or text JOBS to 47272.

Locally, WFLA+ has learned that Tyson Design and Development is hiring people to help make surgical masks. The company is hoping to hire 100 people who have some sewing experience. Three shifts are available to choose from. Anyone interested can email Ty Salvatore at ty@mLa-usa.com.