As Southern California employers struggle to fill seasonal jobs in stores, warehouses and other businesses, a lack of available workers can steal some of the joy from holiday shopping.
Rising consumer demand and a lack of workers to handle the myriad products is wreaking havoc with the nation’s supply chain, according to Southland economist John Hassing.
“It’s submerged,” he said. “Right now 70 cargo ships are sitting at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. That’s about 525,000, 40-foot containers that need to be unloaded. That’s a lot, and most of that stuff is Christmas merchandise. “
The logjam is so bad that Costco hired three cargo ships carrying 800–1,000 containers to move products for the big-box retailer.
Hsing said there are not enough truck drivers, railway workers and others in the supply chain to handle the influx of goods.
Labor shortages have become a common theme in most service industries in recent months, and it’s puzzling to industry experts, who have found jobs after the federal government’s $300 weekly unemployment benefit expired in early September. A new wave of applicants was expected.
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“Part of it has to do with the Delta version,” Hassing said. “There’s a fear factor. Some people are still afraid to go back to work. It was also expected that once we reopen schools, a lot of women who have stayed at home with their kids, Will return to work, but that hasn’t happened yet.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily closed scores of American businesses, has prompted many out-of-work employees to reevaluate job opportunities, many of whom have taken a toll on flexibility, work environment and work culture. emphasized more.
Pennsylvania-based e-commerce business Radial, which is looking to fill 3,000 jobs at its fulfillment centers in Rialto and Montebello, is feeling the squeeze.
Andrea Crawford, Director of Human Resources, acknowledged, “Hurting across the board this year is a challenge.” “We recognize the need for competitive pay for those looking for seasonal work.”
Will some store shelves be empty this holiday season?
Ed Easy, vice president of government relations and workforce development for the National Retail Federation, doesn’t discount the possibility.
“Right now there are about 10 million job opportunities across the country and more than a million of them are in the retail sector,” he said. “Our store members are working hard to ensure that their supply of goods meets market demand, but given the slowdown in West Coast ports… it will be really challenging.”
The housing completely expects some shelves to be barren.
“Definitely,” he said. “I suspect there will be delays even when you shop online.”
Online shopping has become a big business. Adobe Analytics said the COVID-19 pandemic gave e-commerce a $183 billion boost between March 2020 and February 2021. A total of $844 billion was spent online during that period, Adobe said, and the company forecasts e-commerce spending this year. $850 billion to $930 billion.
‘Help wanted’ signs are up
Challenges aside, recruitment announcements are on the rise.
Earlier this week, CVS Health announced it was looking to fill 25,000 vacancies for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses and retail workers nationwide, including 3,100 in California.
The US Postal Service will host job fairs in San Bernardino and San Diego in the coming weeks as it tries to fill 500 seasonal positions.
Rubio’s Coastal Grill has 1,000 openings in California, Arizona, and Nevada, and Walmart is looking to hire workers for its Walmart and Sam’s Club distribution centers in Southern California, the mega retailer’s order to 20,000 people nationwide. Fillers are meant to be brought in as freight handlers. , lift drivers, technicians and managers at its 250 distribution facilities.
On the distribution side, UPS plans to hire approximately 12,000 seasonal Southern California employees. Arts and crafts retailer Michaels is looking to fill 400 Southern California slots and German discount grocer Aldi plans to hire 740 local workers.
Wages for jobs cover a wide range. For example, some entry-level positions at UPS start at $15 per hour while others go up to $23 per hour. Walmart supply chain workers average $20 per hour.
And the bonus? They are coming hard and heavy.
Pepsi Beverages held a job fair in Menifi earlier this month as the company seeks to fill 60 positions at its Riverside warehouse. New employees will receive a $2,000 sign-on bonus.
Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus to new employees at the company’s San Bernardino distribution center, and Old Dominion Freight Line, which has hosted a job fair at its Bloomington service center this month, is getting a nearly 100 full rental needed. Time worker.
Qualified applicants may be eligible for a $5,000 sign-on bonus, the company said.
Although well-intentioned, Hasing said the sign-on bonus could eventually lead to lateral job moves.
“This allows people to simply move from one sector to another,” he said. “If I’m a retail clerk, and I see that Amazon is offering a sign-on bonus at one of their warehouses, I can quit my job and work there to make more money.”
more demanding workers
Leslie Tarnaki, senior vice president of global human resources at Workforce Software, said current job seekers are not settling for any open opportunities.
“A company culture, flexible work options, and overall employee experience are becoming a top priority for people rather than pay alone,” she said via email.
Tarnaki cited Target as an example. The retail chain’s recent announcement that it would offer more flexibility for retail workers by shift swapping, she said, is an indicator of how companies are adapting.
“Today’s candidates know that they have a lot of options at their fingertips when they are ready to get a job, and they take a wait-and-see approach to finding something that matches what they’re looking for in the job. checks the box,” Tarnaki said.