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Big chains add workers for holidays

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NEW YORK — The nation’s largest retailers have announced plans to increase payrolls as they gear up for the holiday season.

Walmart intends to add 20,000 employees to support its e-commerce business and to help with the holiday rush.

Dollar General has announced plans to hire 50,000 employees in the coming weeks, with many of the recruits being brought aboard as the discount retailer pushes ahead with plans to add more than 1,000 new stores this year.

Amazon is adding 40,000 new jobs in the United States, part of its global recruitment of 55,000 people for corporate and technology positions. Amazon held its annual Career Day event on September 15 to help the company fill positions in its retail, cloud computing, advertising and other businesses.

Retailers’ hiring plans were announced as employers nationwide pulled back sharply on hiring during a surge of COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant. The Labor Department announced that U.S. payrolls increased by 235,000 in August, well below economists’ forecasts.

The government data show that businesses, particularly in services sectors requiring in-person contact, held off on hiring amid renewed pandemic uncertainty. And fewer jobless individuals than expected returned to the labor market last month.

Walmart says it is offering part-time and full-time jobs, for permanent and seasonal positions. Many of the new jobs are in the supply chain, as the retailer looks to add more freight handlers, lift drivers, technicians and management positions at distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices.

Walmart recognizes that offering competitive pay is critical to its efforts to build a future-ready supply chain network, and noted that the average wage for its supply chain associates is $20.37 per hour. “At Walmart, what starts as a job has the potential to lead to a limitless and rewarding career. Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’re looking for a fresh start, this is the place to continue your professional journey,” Joe Metzger, executive vice president of supply chain operations, and Karisa Sprague, senior vice president for people and supply chain, wrote in a corporate blog post.

The Dollar General hiring campaign will include a $5,000 signing bonus for Class A Commercial drivers and a referral bonus for new hires in the company’s distribution centers. “We are uniquely positioned as the nation’s largest retailer by store count to serve customers through our expansive network and provide access to careers in the communities we call home,” says Kathy Reardon, DG’s chief people officer. “With more than 17,400 stores located within approximately five miles of  75% of the U.S. population, we’re excited by the favorable impact we can make on the current job market and individuals looking to join our growing team.”

Amazon, which says it has hired more than 450,000 people in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic, designed this month’s job fair for people seeking employment or looking to transition to a different career. “There are so many jobs during the pandemic that have been displaced or have been altered, and there are so many people who are thinking about different and new jobs,” says Amazon chief executive officer Andy Jassy.


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