The retail industry is hiring at a record pace.
In June, the industry saw 1.1 million job openings even after more than 1.1 million workers got hired in a massive hiring spree, reported NPR (Aug. 26).
Still, employment in retail was down by 29,000 jobs in August, with the bulk coming from food and beverage stores (-23,000), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lack of workers in recent months has forced businesses to get creative to attract workers, offering new perks and increased wages.
Now, with the holiday season around the corner, retailers are pushing even harder for workers and, in some cases, it’s paying off, to an extent.
HIGHER WAGES ATTRACT MORE APPLICATIONS FOR AMAZON
One million people from around the world applied for jobs at Amazon during a recent recruiting event, reported CBS News (Sept. 17). The hiring push follows the company’s recent announcement that it plans to hire 125,000 warehouse and transportation workers in the U.S., with those roles offering average starting wages of $18 an hour and some paying as much as $22.50 an hour.
On top of the new jobs in warehousing and transportation, Amazon also has 40,000 open corporate tech roles. In the U.S. alone, the company received about 500,000 applications for openings.
In addition to higher wages, the company is offering full-time workers health, vision, and dental insurance, as well as 401(k) and up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave. Amazon has also said it will pay full college tuition for its 750,000 U.S. hourly employees starting in January.
CVS MAKES HIRING PUSH AMID WORKER SHORTAGE
CVS is set to make a serious hiring push amid the labor shortage and increased COVID-19 vaccine demand, reported The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 20). The pharmacy chain plans to add 25,000 employees this week in a single-day hiring spree as stores struggle with long lines and frustrated customers.
The company is preparing for a potential surge in demand from booster shots and as more people seek COVID-19 tests and flu vaccines. Some CVS customers and employees have even described certain locations as being “chaotic,” with hourslong lines and phones that go unanswered.
Like Amazon, CVS has taken steps to attract more workers. In August, the chain said it would raise its minimum hourly wage to $15, as well as axe the grade-point-average requirement for university recruitment this year. It has already eliminated the high school diploma or General Education Development requirement for most entry-level roles.