News and Commentary

As Worker Shortages Continue, Walmart Gives Out Bonuses To Stop Employees From Quitting

   DailyWire.com
A Walmart store in Quincy, MA, pictured on May 5, 2020, has now closed after a worker died due to COVID-19.
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Walmart is giving warehouse employees bonuses and pay raises to discourage exits and vacations.

The move from America’s largest private employer comes as the labor market continues experiencing distortions following COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The majority of Walmart’s 190 U.S. warehouses are offering the weekly bonus or pay raises. The bonuses and raises vary by location and job type, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Some workers have been offered $1,000 over four weeks for not skipping any scheduled shifts during the second half of the summer. Last week, some workers were also offered temporary pay raises of several dollars an hour through January 2022, said this person.

A Walmart spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the company will “continue to see high volume as we are preparing for peak season.”

As The Daily Wire has previously reported, many economists and lawmakers worry that the federal government’s enhanced unemployment insurance — extended through September in many states by President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — are encouraging Americans to remain at home rather than return to the workforce.

Roughly one in eight respondents to a recent Morning Consult poll of recently unemployed Americans stated that they have refused job offers because they “receive enough money from unemployment insurance without having to work.” Because 14.1 million adults were collecting benefits at the time of the survey, Morning Consult concluded that 1.8 million Americans were turning down jobs in order to continue collecting the handouts.

In a recent report to Congress, the Federal Reserve implicated the enhanced payments as a cause of the labor shortages: 

With economic activity rebounding, labor demand rose briskly in the spring, while the supply of labor struggled to keep up. Employers reported widespread hiring difficulties, job openings jumped to about 30 percent above the average level for 2019, and the ratio of job openings to job seekers surged… enhanced unemployment benefits have allowed potential workers to be more selective and reduce the intensity of their job search.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) — the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee — confirmed to The Daily Wire in a recent interview that labor force participation has continued to lag under President Biden.

“The labor force participation rate, that key indicator — it’s just stuck at a very low rate,” he said. “It hasn’t budged in six months under President Biden. Without those workers returning, we’re gonna continue to see those higher prices and those slower deliveries in a major way.”

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