Shortage of warehouse workers drives up salaries

While e-commerce continues to grow at an exponential rate, retail and logistics companies are opening warehouses at a record pace in an attempt to meet the growing demand. Orders need to be picked, packed and shipped to customers urgently to stay competitive in this market. Online orders show no chance of slowing, but finding workers to staff warehouses is becoming more and more difficult. As the unemployment rate closes in on a ten-year low, the lack of competition in these jobs means wages are increasing to entice workers into warehouses.

Warehouse workers now have an average starting pay of $12.15/hr, up 6% over last year, with a 2.8% increase across all salaries. As the warehouse sector accounted for 945,200 jobs in March, companies are eager to find enough employees to match the pace of their expansion. Issues of worker poaching are common, as the lower starting pay allows competitors to offer only a few cents more an hour to entice workers, thus forcing companies to offer more attractive shifts, benefits and employee perks along with better pay to drive loyalty. Training expenses are greatly reduced when employees are retained and long-term, experienced employees are more productive with less oversight. Longevity of workers coupled with automation helps keep costs manageable for distribution centers.

While the online juggernaut Amazon already has 90,000 full-time workers in distribution centers, they’re planning to add another 25,000 part-time workers in the next year. As Walmart, Amazon and other e-commerce giants continue building larger and more automated distribution centers, staffing them with over a thousand workers will continue to deplete the talent market leading to even higher wages and better employee benefits. BCS Placement continues to watch every sector of the logistics market for the best and most interesting jobs in which to place our candidates, we’re fascinated by the sustained growth that warehousing has shown recently and will continue to monitor the changes for our clients.

As always, please let us know what positions you’re looking to fill and what qualifications you need in an ideal candidate so we can match you with an incredible talent.

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