Walmart had more than 1 million applicants for 150,000 new jobs to keep up with demand during COVID-19. Now, the retailer is hiring for 50,000 more jobs.

Walmart is looking to hire an additional 50,000 employees to keep up with high consumer demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retail giant announced Friday that it hired 150,000 workers more than six weeks ahead of schedule and had more than 1 million applicants. On average, 5,000 people a day were hired using an expedited hiring process rolled out March 19.

"Hiring 50,000 new associates will give us the opportunity to provide additional staffing in key areas where it’s needed most," Donna Morris, Walmart executive vice president and chief people officer, said in a blog post.

Morris said that, for the first wave of hires, Walmart worked with more than 70 companies that furloughed workers, and many of the new employees came from "restaurant and hospitality industries and other retailers."

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More than 22 million people applied for unemployment claims over the past month, or about 14% of the workforce, wiping out all of the job gains since the Great Recession.

Approximately 85% of the new Walmart workers are being hired for temporary or part-time work, Morris said, though some positions are expected to convert to permanent roles.

Like other retailers, Walmart has strained under the pressure to get goods in the hands of its customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

"We continue to see strong demand in our stores, and at the same time, we want to give our current associates the flexibility to take time off and stay home if they feel more comfortable doing so," Morris said.

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"We continue to see strong demand in our stores, and at the same time, we want to give our current associates the flexibility to take time off and stay home if they feel more comfortable doing so," Morris said.

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Under the expedited hiring process, the company is able to move "from application to offer as quickly as 24 hours," Morris said. To apply, visit the Walmart careers website or text jobs to 240240.

Retailers, including Amazon and Kroger, have ramped up hiring for positions ranging from the warehouse to the checkout counter, as delivery and service workers increasingly become indispensable to Americans largely confined to their homes because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Instacart and Shipt have grown their workforce, and some companies, including Lowe's, which is hiring for 30,000 jobs, give staff bonuses or offer higher pay temporarily.

Contributing: Jessica Menton

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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