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Despite Rampant US Unemployment, Defense Firms Say They’re Hiring

Some of America’s largest defense firms are hiring thousands of workers to build fast-flying missiles, satellites and nuclear weapons even as the nation notches record unemployment, Defense One reported Friday.

Companies are interviewing job candidates through video conferencing and other technology as they look to fill positions on national security projects that Pentagon leaders want to keep on schedule, the news outlet reported.

“[W]e recognize that providing jobs during this period of economic downturn is also critically important,” Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said last month on the company’s quarterly earnings call. “We are committed to continued hiring during this crisis.”

The world’s largest defense company has hired more than 2,365 new employees since March, and is “actively recruiting for over 4,600 roles,” in 39 states and Washington, D.C., the company said.

Northrop Grumman says it could hire as many as 10,000 workers this year, and Raytheon Technologies another 2,000.

Even as Boeing prepares to cut 10 percent of its 160,000-employee workforce in the face of an expected three-year drop in sales, it’s advertising more than 600 open positions in the United States, largely in its defense, space, cybersecurity and intelligence units.

And while General Dynamics’ private jet maker Gulfstream is laying off nearly 700 workers in Savannah, Ga., it’s looking to fill more than 3,500 open positions within its Information Technology, Mission Systems, Land Systems and shipbuilding units.

BAE Systems is advertising more than 1,300 open jobs in the United States.

“[W]e are actively working to try and take engineering talent and other talent that we’ve got in the legacy [United Technologies commercial] business and move those folks over to programs on the Raytheon side,” CEO Gregory Hayes said Thursday on the company’s quarterly earnings call, Defense One reported.

Lockheed has been expanding its missiles and space businesses as the Pentagon has increased its focus — and spending — in those areas, Defense One noted.

“We’re recruiting talent for everything from internships, to early careers to experienced professionals,” Jean Wallace, the company’s vice president of workforce solutions, said in an emailed statement to the news outlet.

“In particular, we’re looking to fill five priority critical skill areas: RF engineering, software engineering, systems engineering, electrical engineering, and advance manufacturing operations.”

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