- Pay and job security were the number one and two priorities for the 16,000 warehouse workers questioned in Prologistix's 2018 Warehouse Employee Opinion Survey, conducted in March of this year.
- Though wages are finally growing after 10 years of stagnation, "job security" is a less concrete standard for employers to meet — encompassing consistent hours and more choice of shifts. Following job security in descending order of priority were company culture, paid time off, advancement opportunities, shift assignment and benefits.
- "We are in unchartered territory as many employers prepare for peak season and seek to secure seasonal talent," said Joanie Courtney, EmployBridge Chief Workforce Analyst (EmployBridge is the holding company of Prologistx). High consumer optimism and low unemployment is forcing employers to get creative when looking for labor, she said.
It's a worker's market for warehouse employees right now, with unemployment low and consumer confidence high. Employers would do well to understand their employees' priorities to attract top talent, Brian Devine, senior vice president at EmployBridge, told Supply Chain Dive.
"They can’t worry about advancement opportunities if they can’t pay the rent this week," explained Devine. Every year since 2012, supply chain industry job placement firm ProLogistix surveys the thousands of employees it has placed to get a sense of what they are looking for in a job.
With wage the number one reported priority by the 15,833 respondents, the survey concludes $12 per hour is the "bare minimum" wage for warehouse workers. "We're seeing many of our clients offering more attractive wages in order to secure quality talent given the single-digit unemployment market," said Devine.
Stagnant for 10 years, warehouse worker wages began to rise in 2012, with the average from Prologistix's survey growing from $10.46 in 2012 to $13.30 in 2018.
"We’ve seen a huge adjustment and would argue that it is a correction to wages for these low-wage workers. It's plain and simple supply and demand," explained Devine, though he emphasized that he thinks the hike is here to stay even if economic indicators turn around.
"These wages should have been going up year after year. For 12 or 13 years in a row there was little to no change," said Devine.
The annual survey is conducted through Prologistix's nationwide branches and represents a variety of warehouse employees, including: forklift operator (32%), general warehouse: (27%), other (13%), loader/unloader (8%), order selector (7%), lead/supervisor (7%), inventory control (3%), quality control (3%).