AUSTIN (KXAN) — With more and more businesses now closing their doors, the Brookings Institution looked at how many people are working in industries that are most affected by a recession.

The industries they classified as being at high risk included:

  • Mining/oil and gas
  • Transportation
  • Employment services
  • Travel arrangements
  • Leisure and hospitality

The institution found about 16% of Austin-Round Rock metro’s workforce are in those vulnerable areas.

According to Tamara Atkinson, CEO of Workforce Solutions Capital Area, the organization tracked 2,600 people who need jobs just in the last two weeks.

Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area said it had 3,195 people sign up for its job matching services since March 3.

However, Atkinson said, “The great news is that there really is hope.”

Workforce Solutions launched a new page called Jobs Now.

“Anyone can go to that website, and they can see in real-time job postings that are being added to that list every single hour, so it’s a moving target,” Atkinson explained. “Good news is it’s growing, and we want that number to grow.”

She said the openings are in the public sector.

“These are groceries,” she added. “These are in delivery. These are in transportation.”

Senior living facilities hiring

One industry that is actively hiring is senior living.

Brian Robbins, Vice President of Buckner Retirement Services, said, “Interestingly, our senior living communities operate very similar to the hospitality industry. We provide incredible happiness-inspiring service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Buckner Retirement Services has six locations in Texas.

Robbins said they’re hiring “housekeepers, culinary, maintenance, nursing staff.”

He told KXAN before the pandemic, Austin’s extremely low unemployment rate made it difficult for them to find qualified people to fill these positions.

But now that it’s even more crucial to keep their residents and staff healthy, he wants to fill the openings quickly.

“Our employees — in order for them to be at their best — we need to make sure we have all positions filled so that they’re not overworked, over-tasked,” Robbins explained.

Openings in healthcare

One industry that needs to hire, but can’t very quickly, is healthcare.

“The thing is you can’t speed up the process,” said Amy Simons, Associate Professor at Austin Community College.

The state has made it easier for nursing students in their final year to more easily meet clinical requirements.

Simons said for nursing students in their final year, “We’re using all measures to get clinical hours for them. We’re using simulation.”

She added, “We know that that’s not optimal, but they’ve had good nine to 10 weeks of hardcore, in the hospital time, not to mention the three semesters [in previous years].”

Simons said when those students graduate in May, they’ll be able to get more qualified nurses out on the frontlines.

“So basically by May 30, we could have about 160 nurses from ACC out there.”

Other places hiring

Lowe’s said Thursday it is hiring 200 people in the greater Austin area and 30,000 nationwide.

CapMetro said it was overwhelmed by applications when it announced last week it was hiring full and part-time positions.

H-E-B announced March 18 it was hiring.

Both 7-Eleven and Papa John’s both announced March 24 they were each hiring 20,000 people throughout the country.

Dollar General said March 23 it was aiming to hire 50,000 people nationwide.

CVS said it also planned to hire 50,000 people on March 23.

Walmart plans to hire 150,000 people across the U.S.

Amazon, GrubHub, Fed-Ex, Trader Joe’s and Instacart are also among those hiring.