For at least a year, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space launch company had been outpacing Elon Musk's SpaceX ($PRIVATE:SPACEX) when it came to hiring. As recently as January 2020, Blue Origin listed 792 openings, 59% more than SpaceX. 

But beginning in February, as scientists began getting their heads around the potential impact of a global pandemic, hiring at Blue Origin began taking a notable pause.

At that time, perhaps seeing an opportunity to grab much-needed rocket-science talent, SpaceX continued to accelerate its hiring, Coronavirus or not.

By mid-March, and for the first time, the two companies had the same number of openings (610) listed on their recruitment websites. But since then, openings at Blue Origin continued to drop while SpaceX continued to add openings. As of this week, SpaceX lists 639 openings or 28% more than Blue Origin.

Musk has made it clear this week that he's not a fan of slowing things down despite the global pandemic. Yesterday, he called stay-at-home orders "fascist" during Tesla's earnings, saying that his inability to resume production at Tesla plants poses a "serious risk".

As of this week, SpaceX lists 639 openings, or 28% more than Blue Origin.

Meanwhile, SpaceX continues to launch satellites and has announced plans to go forward with a May 27 demonstration mission for its Falcon 9 launch of Crew Dragon, a future manned spaceship.

In March, Musk sent an email to SpaceX employees arguing that they are more likely to be killed in a car crash than by COVID-19. 

"As a basis for comparison, the risk of death from C19 is *vastly* less than the risk of death from driving your car home," Musk wrote to SpaceX employees. "There are about 36,000 automotive deaths per year, as compared to 36 so far this year for C19."

Meanwhile, Bezos has restricted travel and enforced work-from-home measures at Blue Origin. NASA has done the same.

Musk's latest Tweet appears to enforce his desire to keep people working in offices and factories.

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. 

Further Reading: 

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