Since the onset of the recession, firms nationwide have shed more than seven million jobs, causing the unemployment rate to double to 10.2%. We set out to find the silver lining behind this dark employment cloud and found several firms which are actually thriving and looking to hire. (Learn more about the impact of this recession. Check out Recession 2009: By The Numbers.)
Between its brick and mortar stores (Wal-Mart and Sam's Club) and their online shopping websites (walmart.com, samsclub.com) the Walton family empire already employs more than two million people worldwide and that number is poised to soar higher.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that during the global economic slump, Wal-Mart is winning over customers from higher-priced competitors. Pair that trend with a near-obsessive corporate culture of cost containment and you've got the recipe for long-term employment success. There are approximately 4,200 stores in the U.S. and the company has affirmed its medium-term growth goals including opening new supercenters in Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
After beating analysts' third-quarter earnings predictions the soft drink titan is on track for record earnings this year and projects double-digit growth (between 11-13%) into 2010. With strong sales and cash in hand the company recently announced it would continue making "targeted investments across (its) entire portfolio" and that it would "expect to ramp up next year."
That's good news for job seekers, as "ramping up" is often corporate code for hiring. Learn more about their opportunities for professionals, jobs for new grads, and hourly or commission-based jobs.
Perrigo Company (Nasdaq:PRGO)
At a time when consumers are jealously guarding their wallets, Perrigo is well-positioned. The company develops, manufactures and distributes OTC and generic prescription pharmaceuticals. In fact it's the world's largest manufacturer of OTC pharmaceutical products for store brands. Perrigo just released its first-quarter fiscal 2010 reports and the global healthcare supplier's immediate future looks bright. Their strong corporate growth spans all divisions which means no hiring freezes for this Michigan-based employer.
Currently holding the #1 position on Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, NetApp is weathering the recession just fine, thank you. At the end of August the company unveiled several new technologies to help companies at the forefront of the "cloud computing" movement. They're ahead of the curve technologically and financially and they're looking to add to their workforce in order to stay that way. They open the "Careers" page on their website with a short and to the point: "We've got jobs."
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)
If you've ever worked out in a gym or stayed home with a sick child, you have probably already used an Abbott product or two. Abbott Labs, maker of numerous popular medical and nutritional products including Zone Perfect and Pedialyte, employs nearly 70,000 people at more than 100 sites worldwide. Even in a recession people are going to spend money on essentials, including the pharmaceutical products that Abbott makes.
The company is using that cash to expand its holdings (it recently made a $6.6 billion cash outlay for the Belgian firm Solvay Pharmaceuticals) and solidify its medical device divisions (by purchasing Evalve Inc. and Visiogen Inc.). It has already announced plans to expand its product base by delving into vaccines and hormone therapies, as well as plans to expand geographically into Asia and Eastern Europe.
This company may be able to thank the economic slump for helping boost its customer base by more than 17% in less than 12 months. To convert one-time customers to long-term loyal buyers the company has launched "Local Express Delivery" services for same-day delivery in seven major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, Seattle and Washington, D.C.) and expanded free shipping worldwide.
It's projecting fourth-quarter net sales projections between 21-36% and will be hiring to help make that happen.
Business at Netflix is booming. The company recently announced that its customer base grew by a phenomenal 28% since this time last year. Since wages aren't expected to rebound anytime soon it's a safe bet that a movie home-delivery and online streaming business will continue to play well among consumers looking to save money by staying at home.
Netflix recently inked a deal with Sony allowing PS3 gamers to rent movies through their PS3 console, and announced plans to go international in 2010. To keep pace with growth they'll need to continue bringing top talent on board. They're currently hiring across numerous divisions and in numerous locations across the United States.
Any company that specializes in helping small businesses cut costs is most likely going to do well during an economic downturn. VistaPrint is no exception. Vistaprint provides personalized products (think business cards, letterhead, etc.) for small businesses and individuals. It just reported its first-quarter 2010 year-over-year revenue growth of more than 27% and 1.4 million new customers. That breaks down to an average daily order volume of more than 45,000 - nearly 29% higher than the same quarter one year ago.
It's going to capitalize on its growth by expanding at least two of its manufacturing facilities and continuing to staff up sites worldwide.
The Bottom Line
While the overall labor market's growth is too slow for most there are companies out there that are moving full steam ahead and are looking to hire. If you are looking for work, these companies just might be the ticket.( The end of a recession can be a great time to get back into the markets. Find out how to sniff out the best opportunities. Don't miss Profiting In A Post-Recession Economy.)