Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other e-commerce giants rely on armies of "pickers" to grab items off warehouse shelves and prep them for shipment. For years they’ve drawn from a seemingly limitless pool of people willing to take these jobs, which can be grueling but require little training or education.
But with the unemployment rate close to a 10-year low, competition for warehouse workers is fueling the biggest wage gains inside warehouses in at least a decade.
Starting pay for warehouse workers rose 6 percent over the past year to $12.15 an hour in February, according to an analysis by ProLogistix, a logistics staffing firm. Hourly earnings rose 2.8 percent across all professions over the same period, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The warehouse and storage sector expanded dramatically as more people shop online, and accounted for 945,200 jobs in March, up 5.3 percent over the year-earlier period, according to seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
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