RESEARCH TRAINGLE PARK – Amazon and Walmart are ramping up their hiring plans even as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to pose a threat to the U.S. and global economies.

In fact, Amazon is hosting its annual job fair on Sept. 15. And CEO Andy Jassy chose to disclose Amazon’s workforce expansion in an interview Wednesday with Reuters.

It’s also offering up to $1,000 sign-on bonuses and hourly pay as high as $20.

“There are so many jobs during the pandemic that have been displaced or have been altered, and there are so many people who are thinking about different and new jobs,” said Jassy. he was citing a survey from PwC that found 65% of workers wanted a new job.

“It’s part of what we think makes ‘Career Day’ so timely and so useful,” he said.

Amazon has a growing footprint in the Triangle and North Carolina with a network of distribution centers. Check here for local jobs.

Tech job openings across NC surge 40% as COVID drives more digital adoption

The company is adding thousands of corporate and technology jobs in the U.S. as well as jobs overseas.

Walmart has its own hiring plans. It’s looking to hire 20,000 workers for its distribution and fulfillment centers, trying to fill some of the most high-demand jobs in retail as the pandemic continues to disrupt the global supply chain.

Walmart said the positions it is filling are permanent jobs — not just seasonal help — including full-time and part-time roles. Positions include order fillers, freight handlers, lift drivers, technicians and management positions. The average pay for its supply chain employees is $20.37 an hour.

“As our business continues evolving to meet the needs of today’s customers, having a robust supply chain is more important than ever,” the company said in a statement. Walmart is the nation’s largest private sector employer with 1.6 million US workers as of January 31 this year, according to a regulatory filing.

Competition for warehouse workers was already stiff before the pandemic, with stores adding jobs at their warehouses and logistics networks as more customers ordered online.

Where the jobs are: Triangle market continues to grow despite ‘Delta’

Then the pandemic supercharged online shopping, putting even more pressure on retailers to staff up at warehouses. Now, retailers are scrambling to add extra warehouse staff as they ramp up for the peak holiday season amid a record number of unfilled jobs.

Just over half of retailers said they were having “significant challenges” hiring warehouse employees, according to a survey of more than 80 big box, grocery, drug store and apparel chains conducted on August 4 by executive search firm Korn Ferry. That compares to 35% that said they were having such challenges hiring employees to staff stores.

Walmart says it plans to hold special hiring events on September 8 and 9 aimed at filling these positions. Even with Walmart’s ability to offer attractive pay and benefit packages, including an offer of free college tuition announced last month, it will be challenging to fill the warehouse positions, according to experts.

“The demand for distribution center workers continues to skyrocket,” said Craig Rowley, senior client partner at Korn Ferry specializing in retail. “Everyone who has a desire to be a distribution center worker already has a job.”

(CNN contributed to this report.)