Facebook Hiring at “Aggressive Clip” Among Company’s Plans to Aid Struggling Economy

Facebook Inc.’s (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg said that the social media giant would hire 10,000 additional workers for its product and engineering teams by the end of 2020.

What Happened
Talking with CNBC’s Scott Wapner on Thursday, she was asked if she would pledge to make no layoffs. She replied, “Our hiring is keeping at a very, very aggressive clip.” She said she felt fortunate to be able to hire new workers but did not hint at whether these workers would be contractors or full-time employees. “We also have the responsibility to do that — to keep our own employees, but hopefully hire more because we need them,” she added.

Sandberg revealed some other Facebook plans, such as enabling small businesses to sell gift cards to customers on the social media platform. Touting the usefulness of this initiative, Sandberg explained, “If you can’t use their services now, you can pay now, give them the cash and do it later.”

Small businesses will also be able to raise funds on Facebook. Previously users could only raise funds for non-profits or specific individuals.

Why It Matters
Facebook’s initiatives and hiring come at a time when the economy is struggling with the dire fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The social media giant has taken several steps to help users and businesses mitigate COVID-19 related issues.

Small businesses will be supported using ad credits and cash grants through a $100 million program launched by Facebook. Sandberg hoped businesses would utilize it to “keep afloat” and “pay employees.”

Facebook’s hiring is significant as unemployment claims escalated to 6.6 million last week, a record high increase of 3.3 million.

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What Else
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan donated $25 million to a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-backed accelerator that is working on developing treatments to fight the pandemic.

Price Action
Facebook shares traded 0.39% lower at $157.80 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session 0.88% lower, at $158.19.

Read more from Shivdeep Dhaliwal at Benzinga.com

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