Warehouse operators are struggling to find skilled workers due to record-low unemployment. Employers need to offer more flexibility in human resources policies and wages to attract and retain top talent. This is according to EmployBridge’s eleventh annual Employee Opinion Survey on Warehouse Jobs, which was released in the fall 2018.
It’s not surprising that warehouse workers ranked pay and job security as the most important factors. This is unchanged since 2007. However, for the first time in history, more than two-thirds (65%) of warehouse workers earned $12 an hour or more, excluding benefits.
Warehouse Jobs Workers
This is a significant change. EmployBridge reports that warehouse workers earned an average of $10 per hour between 2002 and 2014, when it started to rise. The average wage for warehouse workers was now $14.30 an hour by December 2018.
Brian Devine, senior vice president at EmployBridge, says that this is a troubling sign for many companies. He explains that for over a decade they have not had to raise their pay rates. “Now, if the company has just increased their pay last year, they will have to do it again.”
Earnings Catch up to the Cost of Living
Devine claims that warehouse workers’ pay rates have been falling for years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index is a measure of the change in prices over time for both consumer goods and warehouse job services. The cost of living increased 29 percent between 2002 and 2014. Wages for hourly workers rose only 5.5 percent from 2002 to 2014. Today, however, in an era of shortages of qualified labor, companies have to offer higher wages to stay competitive.
Devine states that “hourly wages for warehouse workers haven’t kept up with the CPI,” and is proposing a correction. This is a huge deal. “We will continue to see hourly workers get paid more.”
Devine states that if companies don’t adjust their salaries, they won’t be able attract new employees and will also have to worry over turnover among their current workforce.
He says that the knowledge base will allow him to walk out the door and make $2 more per hour. Our surveys have shown that spotify internship people will not quit a job to earn more money than $13 per hour. If you can make $15 per hour, it is a game changer.”
Many of these workers could be moving to Amazon. In October 2018, Amazon announced that it would pay $15 an hour minimum wage to more than 250,000 seasonal and full-time employees.
Warehouse jobs that Require a Relaxed Rigid Hiring Policy
Stringent hiring policies may have been required during the Great Recession, when unemployment was at least 7 percent. However, today it does not always make business sense according to the survey.