It is opening a new Chennai, India, facility expected to generate 1,000 jobs by year's end and is also looking to add staff in Romania. Back in the U.S., construction is under way for a 150,000 square foot facility in Lincoln, Neb., that will create an additional 150 positions.
The recession's blight on the automotive industry has frugal drivers eschewing new cars and opting instead to tinker with what they've got. That bodes well for American billionaire Edward Lampert and possibly for some unemployed auto workers; the stock of auto parts chain AutoZone, in which Lampert has a large stake, is up 45% in the last 12 months and its second-quarter 2009 profit rose 9%, thrashing Wall Street's expectations. During the first quarter of 2009, AutoZone opened 20 new U.S. stores (and closed just one) and eight in Mexico. The company says that hiring and retraining employees is a major focus of 2009.
The economic downturn has actually helped boost several billionaire businesses and spurred them to add jobs. The discount-shopping sector, for instance, is red hot right now as savvy "recessionistas" hunt for all sorts of bargains.
German billionaire Karl Albrecht's discount supermarket chain, Aldi, is planning 80 new stores in 29 U.S. states, including its first in New York City. It is holding a series of recruiting events for district managers and trainees this month in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. H&M, headed by Swedish billionaire Stefan Persson, is opening 225 stores this year, a plan that will reportedly create 7,000 new jobs.
So if you are unemployed, consider trying to get a job working for one of these billionaire-owned businesses. It almost certainly won't make you as rich as the founders but perhaps the post will offer a bit more job security than a lot of companies out there.