September 29, 2021 11:00 AM, EDT

Walmart Stokes Hiring Rush With Plan to Add 150,000 Jobs

Shoppers walk in front of a Walmart store in San Leandro, Calif. Shoppers walk in front of a Walmart store in San Leandro, Calif. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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Walmart Inc. is expanding its hiring push with plans to recruit 150,000 store employees, adding to U.S. employers’ search for new workers as the busy holiday season approaches.

Most of the jobs will be permanent and full-time positions, Walmart said in a statement Sept. 29. The hiring goal comes on top of a plan the company announced a month ago to add 20,000 supply chain workers.

The move by the nation’s largest private-sector employer signals even more competition for labor at a time when a tight market is already pushing companies to boost wages and benefits and enhance perks. Although retail employment hasn’t rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, the industry is expected to add 700,000 employees this holiday season, according to hiring consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s down slightly from 2020.

Target Corp. plans to add 100,000 seasonal jobs, while UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp. are targeting a combined total of 190,000. Inc. is looking to hire 125,000 warehouse and shipping workers.

Walmart, with about 2.3 million employees, didn’t specify how many of the new jobs will be seasonal. A year ago, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said it would recruit 20,000 people to help with the holiday shopping rush. This year, many existing employees probably will look for extra hours during the holiday season, and “we’ll continue to offer those opportunities,” Julie Murphy, Walmart’s chief people officer for the U.S., said in the statement.

The company raised its starting wage by a dollar an hour to $12 this month, while Sam’s Club, the company’s membership-based warehouse retailer, is now paying $15. Target also offers $15 an hour, while Costco Warehouse Corp. has set its starting hourly wage at $16.

Walmart Inc. ranks No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

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