Lyft drivers directed to Amazon as demand for rides plummets

Employment issues have impacted millions of people across the US as an increasing number of states shut down non-essential services. Many people have been left scrambling for work, and some are turning to gig economy jobs like ride-hailing services. The only problem? Very few people are ordering rides right now, meaning driving isn't the source of income it used to be. That's where Amazon comes in.

Amazon has published a new job portal that invites Lyft drivers to apply for a position. The company is touting its temporary $17/hour wage, which is two dollars higher than its typical $15/hour rate. The company also recently started offering some of its warehouse workers the opportunity to make $19/hour by fulfilling online grocery orders for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods.

According to The Verge, Lyft began directing its drivers to Amazon in an email sent out on Friday. Amazon has recently increased the number of people it is hiring in order to meet the huge increase in demand from people quarantined at home. Lyft drivers can potentially switch to delivering packages for Amazon under its Flex program, depending on their location.

The company is also currently hiring shoppers and warehouse workers. Anyone interested in the jobs can find a listing of them here. Amazon is considered an essential service and as such can continue operating in states that have issued shutdown orders; grocery stores, pharmacies, and many other businesses are also allowed to continue operations at this time.

Amazon's hiring spree comes at a time when many companies have been forced to lay off workers. The ongoing quarantines and orders to maintain social distancing have forced many to remain in their homes; many schools have transitioned students to online classrooms and many businesses are allowing employees to work remotely. It's unclear how long businesses will remain closed.