The ripple effects from the Coronavirus' impact on the global economy continue to be felt in waves, and while many companies globally are slashing job postings and pausing hiring, there are plenty of others that have stepped up efforts to battle the pandemic, support workers who put themselves on the front lines of various industries, and lots of data to highlight exceptional efforts.
Thinknum Alternative Data can highlight companies with a positive (and, negative) social chatter trend, as well as companies scaling up job postings in what is becoming a war-time effort to slow the disease's spread, save lives, and educate others. From shoes to sandwiches, and everything in-between, the charts we have to highlight today focus on the companies going into high gear to battle the pandemic.
Crocs' benevolent move to give free footwear away to healthcare workers earned it unprecedented love on Facebook ($FB), as tracked through its Talking About Count. It's unclear what impact handing tens of thousands of products away will have on Crocs' bottom line, but the bet on supporting healthcare workers is generating attention for the plastic clog-maker it hasn't earned for years.
At the same time healthcare workers are putting themselves on the front lines to fight Coronavirus, health insurers - like Cigna and Humana - are staffing up for what is likely to be a busy year, with complex claims management processes to navigate as the US and others around the world navigate recuperation and fallout from the outbreak. And, that's not all - Veeva, a life sciences cloud company that teamed with Zoom to provide free remote health video services to new clients - is also staffing up as part of its role in the crisis.
As other companies launch initiatives to combat the pandemic, we often see that companies launching bold production initiatives - like 3M, which is developing a billion N95 respiratory masks on an accelerated schedule - nevertheless throttle job postings back, in response to broader shutdowns keeping other business lines temporarily dormant.
There is no playbook for the Coronavirus response plan - and that is why some retailers or restaurants are notifying landlords that they won't be able to make rent for their commercial spaces. However, it remains to be seen what the impact on those businesses will be - and if there is legislative support to extend their leases without penalty, or if they'll be forced to abandon some of their locations. Elsewhere on the retail and fashion front, startups like Rent the Runway and Away were forced to let staff go and slash job postings as the travel shutdown has ground many growing companies' revenue to a halt overnight.
For the restaurants that could continue to operate, those that launched delivery initiatives - like Jimmy Johns - saw social media engagement soar as grateful consumers voiced their opinions on Facebook.
Nevertheless, the broader picture of the pandemic is dire, the economic picture stark and the future very much uncertain. The likelihood of a recession looms large as America confronts a double-digit unemployment scenario overnight and banks slash job postings to brace for a downturn. The data we highlighted today and the stories that support them are exceptional, rather than the norm, and the norm is increasingly looking like a bleak short-term scenario for the global economy, if not far worse.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.