- The average weekly salary for warehouse workers was $815 in 2017, which is lower than its peak of $836 from 2015, but the projected numbers for 2018 show wage growth over the first three quarters of the year, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 65% of warehouse workers make more than $12 per hour, according to a 2018 survey conducted by ProLogistix, a warehousing staffing firm. This is up from 59% in 2017 and 37% in 2016.
- The survey found salary to be the number one priority warehousing employees, followed by job security and company culture. The survey respondents were both current associated and those seeking employment.
It wasn't too long ago warehouse employment and salary was top of mind for the industry. Five of the top 12 metrics measured in DC Velocity and the Warehousing and Education Research Council (WERC)’s 2018 annual DC Metics Survey were related to labor. A year later, only two of the top 12 are related to labor, as the focus is shifted back toward operations.
"The increased attention paid to Inbound operations, especially to the performance of suppliers this past year is no surprise," the 2019 WERC report reads. "Retailers are placing great emphasis on on time and in full performance to increase product availability on store shelves."
Still, the conditions remain in which labor could demand more. The unemployment rate sunk to 3.6% in April, the lowest level in decades. This leaves fewer workers for open warehouse jobs and requires the hiring company to offer benefits better than its competitors.
Amazon, which has employed thousands of warehouse associates in its fulfillment centers, decided to increase the minimum wage for its company to $15 per hour last October. The company saw the benefit of this almost immediately as applications for seasonal work spiked following the announcement, Ashley Robinson, a spokesperson for Amazon, told reporters on a fulfillment center tour earlier this year.
"By the end of the month of October we had over 850,000 applications for seasonal associate roles for our fulfillment centers," Robinson said. "That was a lot more than we were expecting and so we've definitely seen a very high interest in candidates who may not have considered Amazon before." This was double the previous highest month for job applications, she said.
The transportation, warehousing and utilities sector was projected to have 345,000 open positions in the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If these companies struggle to find workers, a higher salary could be part of the fix.
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