Costco has announced to increase their minimum wages to $17 an hour. The company was offering $15 per hour starting wage back in 2019 and it was increased to $16 an hour last year. In view of the on-going labor shortage crisis Costco has once again raised the minimum wage. The hikes salary plan is implemented from 25th October 2021.

Labor Shortage Crisis in U.S.

Costco said that the decision is taken to make our wage structure competitive with the market. In the recent times all the employers are offering higher wages to attract workers. In addition, employers are also offering hiked wages to existing employees so they can be retained. During the pandemic service and retail industry employers are finding it difficult to fulfill their staffing needs. This has forced the employers of these sectors to revise their wage structures. Recently, Starbucks has also raised their minimum salary to $15 per hour.

Costco’s Competitive Edge

Business Insider reported that Costco is considered as a good employer. They provide benefits like paid vacations and healthcare coverage to its employees and average tenure of an employee is around 9 years.  Almost half of the Costco’s workforce earn over $25 an hour. In these times companies like Costco are trying to seek competitive advantage in a tight job market as most of the US workers are dissatisfied with low wages and lack of benefits.

CEO’s Memo

“Effective October 25, 2021, we will adjust the starting hourly wages for new employees in the U.S. to $17.00/hour for Service Assistants, $18.00/hour for Service Clerks and $18.50/hour for Meat Cutters,” read the memo. “Current U.S. employees making less than these rates will be moved up to these rates on their scales, and their goal hours will be reset. Please contact your GM or Payroll Clerk with any questions.”

There are many on-going workers strikes in US. Many companies are facing threats of strikes from union workers. Keeping in view the challenges of potential strikes and labor shortages, employers feel the need to raise the wages to survive in these testing times.

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Starbuck has announced that they will increase the wages of baristas to $15 per hour by the end of summer of 2022. It is further said that minimum wage would be $15 per hour and it can go up to $23 per hour. Currently, the average hourly wages of employees are $14 per hour.

Labor Shortage Crisis in U.S.

Restaurants, bars and cafes are finding it difficult to hire and retain staff to cater the rebounding demand. Companies like Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s and Popeye’s have all faced labor related challenges during the 3rd quarter of 2021. It is much easier for employees to find a better job at a higher salary. Keeping in view this trend Starbucks has also planned to increase the minimum wages.

New Wage Plan

This increase in wage rates will assist in attracting workforce. Starbucks have also come up with an employee retention strategy. The baristas working at the coffee chain for at least two years will get up to 5% raise till January 2022. Similarly, employees working with Starbucks for at least 5 years will receive a wage hike of up to 10%. In an effort to attract more workers, Starbucks has also hired recruitment specialists across U.S. and are paying $200 referral bonus for each new hire. The company is already planning for another pay raise during summer 2022 which may bring its average wage to $17 per hour.

Efforts to Unionize

Starbucks workers in Buffalo, New York are putting in effort to unionize a handful of Starbuck cafes. Employees are working to form a union to address issues like chronic understaffing. However, Starbucks denied that this wage increase is not due to these unionized efforts. According to the café chain’s statement “We respect our partners’ right to organize but believe that they would not find it necessary given our pro-partner environment”.

The U.S. job market is facing the crisis of labor shortage across all industries. In wake of this turmoil companies are increasing the wages to attract new workers and giving pay hikes to existing employees to retain them.

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The concept of remote jobs is becoming a new normal. LinkedIn is considered as the world’s largest professional networking forum. It is well known platform for connecting professionals with employers. To complement the modern job demands LinkedIn in now offering a platform for freelancers.

Service Marketplace’s Potential

LinkedIn has launched Service Marketplace as a new service. This will allow people to advertise themselves for short-term arrangements and their services will be hired by entities looking for such roles. LinkedIn is now officially competing with Fiverr and Upwork for sourcing skilled workers. Service Marketplace will target 770+ million LinkedIn users to find work or to hire professional services.

LinkedIn and its Competitors

The platform of Service Marketplace is similar to Fiverr but it will offer software development services. LinkedIn marketplace will focus on domains like design, marketing and software development. The company initially plans to start with 250 categories and intend to extend it to 500 in future. In 2020, Upwork and Fiverr generated nearly $550 million which was 37% as compared to previous year.

Service Marketplace’s beta version was running got quietly in US. It has already more than 2 million subscribers. However, LinkedIn Service Marketplace is accessible to everyone globally. Users can setup profile and flag the disciplines of their interest. LinkedIn’s Services Marketplace is accessed from a grid button that opens “more LinkedIn services” on the site’s navigation bar. The feature showcases LinkedIn members who provide freelance services.

Pricing

LinkedIn has announced any pricing plan yet and it is unsure how much commission will they be charging. Fiverr charges 20% on each transaction and Upwork service charges are in between 5 to 20%. Currently, LinkedIn is not charging any service fees, but this may change in future. According to product manager Matt Faustman, “We will address the pricing point, but we decided not to for now”.

 

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Bank of America has come up with the announcement that they are increasing the minimum wage to $21 per hour. The decision has come in wake of US labor shortage worries. The company is also committed to its plan of increasing the minimum wage to $25 per hour by 2025.

Why Minimum Wage is Increased?

US is facing a country wide labor shortage in all its employment sector. Companies are finding it difficult to hire and retain employees. The biggest challenge is the retention of lower wage employees. To cater this issue companies are offering increased salaries to attract potential candidates. Bank of America is also in the list of employers who has increased the minimum wage rate. They are now offering approximately 3 times higher wage as compared to US minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. With this wage hike, employees of this segment will have an annualized salary of $43,680. This is well above the average poverty line of $12,880 per person and $26,000 for a family of four.

Bank of America and its Competitors

Like many other sectors, banks are also severely affected by shortage of workers. However, this decision has placed Bank of America ahead of its competitors in terms of minimum wage offering. JP Morgan which is the largest bank in US are offering minimum wage of $16.5 to $20 per hour. Citigroup are offering $15 per hour as minimum wage. Wells Fargo are paying its employees between $15 to $20 per hour depending upon the area’s cost of living.

The US economy managed to add 194,000 jobs during September 2021. There are approximately a million more jobs than the available workforce. In order to tackle this crisis companies are offering higher wages to hire and retain employees. In recent times, companies like Amazon and Walmart have increased their minimum wage. Now, The Bank of America has also decided to come up with this strategy to hire and retain employees.

 

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Ordering online groceries has become a norm during pandemic days. More and more people prefer using online services for ordering groceries. Companies like Shipt and Instacart are offering the services of online grocery. These services are invaluable for the people who want to stay out of stores. This trend of online shopping has increased the demand of online shopper jobs.

Shipt is a membership-based marketplace. It was founded in 2014 and has gained popularity during Covid-19 pandemic as people look for convenient ways of shopping. It helps people in getting things they need including fresh products and household essentials from their preferred stores. Shipt is offering shopper jobs in Allendale, Michigan. Shipt shopper jobs are getting popular in Michigan.

A Shipt shopper will:

  • Use app to accept orders in their area
  • Shop and deliver specified orders to member homes
  • Ensure best customer experience as part of “Bring the magic” initiative

Why Work for Shipt

  • Earn up to $22 per hour
  • Work full-time, part-time or any time in between
  • Same day delivery benefits
  • $200 bonus for completing 20 orders within 20 day of your hire

Job Specifications

  • Must be 18 years or above
  • Have access to reliable transportation (car year of 1997 or newer) and car insurance coverage.
  • Must have a current U.S. driver’s license.
  • Have knowledge about handpicking fresh produce.
  • Provide your own insulated cooler bag. Be able to lift 25+ pounds.
  • Be familiar with using an Android or iPhone.

Shipt has a pool of gig workers who they call shoppers. There were more than 300,000 Shipt shoppers till the end of last year. Additionally,  in September 2021 Shipt has also signed a deal with VISA which has made Shipt more accessible to the consumers. Visa consumer cardmembers now can access free Shipt memberships and will get free deliveries on orders over $35. In another initiative to serve customers, Shipt is offering same day delivery at more than 1000 additional neighborhood retail shops. This expansion has added more than 2 million households as their potential customers.

The number of Shipt shoppers are increasing. More people are enrolling as shoppers due to flexibility of work and potential additional income. Hence, Shipt’s sales have increase by 86% in first quarter and 20% in the second quarter as compared to last year during same time period.

 

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The eruption of Covid-19 virus has a detrimental effect on US economy. The situation is getting better after administration of vaccines and the economy is finally opening. The schools are also back to normal routine and some of the federal aid is also ending. Strangely, the workers are in no rush to go back to work. The companies are offering better higher wages and better benefits. Yet, there are almost a million more jobs than the available workforce.

Expectations of Labor Flooding

Autumn was expected to be the beginning of labor returning to work in numbers. But this unexpected labor shortage has held back the US economic recovery ambitions. With the reopening of schools and ending of expanded unemployment benefits the businesses were expecting the flooding of employees back to work.  But the return is slower than the expectations.

Workers are in no Hurry to Return

It seems like that the workers are still conscious about their health and are not willing to take unnecessary risks. In addition, the savings which they have accumulated during the pandemic is giving them room to turn down jobs. As a result, there are more jobs in the market than the available workers. For the first time in decades workers find themselves in an advantageous position where they can wait for a job with higher wage, flexible working hours and better working conditions. During August along, 4.3 million US workers quit their jobs in quest for a better opportunity.

“It’s like the whole country is in some kind of union renegotiation,” said Betsey Stevenson, a University of Michigan economist who was an adviser to President Barack Obama. “I don’t know who’s going to win in this bargaining that’s going on right now, but right now it seems like workers have the upper hand.”

Economists are of the opinion that extra savings might not be the sole reasons of workers not going back to jobs. But the leverage the workers have is allowing people to be more selective about their job preferences.

The whooping high 4.3 million workers quitting the job during August is not a healthy sign for US economy. The next few months are very critical. The economists and government will be closely monitoring the workers preferences in coming weeks.

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Holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. As the season is nearing, Walmart is planning to onboard approximately 150,000 new US store associates. Most of these positions are permanent and full-time. These jobs will be offered across the US. The purpose of this hiring is to cater the surging demand and providing good customer services during the busy season days.

Walmart Hiring to Cater Surge in Customer Demand

Alongside this new hiring plan the company is also planning to offer the existing employees the opportunity to work extra hours.  This is company’s second hiring drive in recent times. At end of August the company announced 20,000 permanent jobs for supply chain workers across the US. The purpose of the recruitment drive was to meet the ever-growing demand of the shoppers. Walmart hired 500,000 store associates during last year. Most of the hiring included the e-commerce fulfillment center associates as customers headed for online shopping.

What Walmart is offering?

The retail giant has developed good wage plans. The US average hourly wage is $16.40. There will be an opportunity to quickly go up the ladder. The jobs in the store may pay as high as $34 per hour. Similarly, entry lever associates have the opportunity get promoted to roles of responsibility and higher wages. They are also offering a path for everyone to build a career. Walmart is offering on the job trainings and classroom trainings to help associates develop and grow. In order to satisfy the demand of customers they have not only planned to hire new associates, but they plan to provide additional benefits to the existing associates. These include wage raises, more full-time roles offering and paying 100% of their college tuition and books.

How to Apply

There are multiple ways to apply for associate jobs. Interested applicants may apply through in-store, online or directly through Me@Walmart app.

Walmart is looking to add talented people in the pool of their sales associates. They know that their customers will be looking up to these associates for finding wonderful gifts and meal deals for their loved ones.

 

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Walmart announced that they have planned to build a 72,000 square feet distribution facility in Spartanburg County. Walmart will invest $450 million on this project and it will create more than 400 supply chain jobs. Many growth opportunities will come towards the residents of Spartanburg County. The new high-tech distribution center is all set to open in 2024. Employment information will be shared closer to the facility’s opening date.

A Dynamic Mix of Technology & Workers

The company said that this new facility’s workforce will be a combination of Walmart associates, automation technology, robotics and machine learning. The versatile mix of resources will process perishable grocery such as eggs, dairy, frozen goods and will deliver them to nearby stores. It will be the biggest distribution center of Walmart till date. It will deliver two times more products than the traditional Walmart distribution centers across US.

Walmart is Adopting Technology

“Walmart’s high-tech grocery distribution center will include game-changing innovations that are radically disrupting the supply chain, getting products onto shelves for our customers even faster, while saving time for our associates. We’re proud to be opening Walmart’s largest automated grocery distribution center in Spartanburg County and look forward to bringing new STEM job opportunities to the region,” said Walmart U.S., Senior Vice President, Automation and Innovation, David Guggina.

The retail giant’s high-tech distribution center is part of their automation technology initiative in the supply chain. Their first automated distribution center was opened in 2018 and it has helped them in reducing cost and improving efficiency.

The Hiring Plan

The high-tech distribution center is expected to create more than 400 jobs related to supply change. This initiative will boost the economic growth of South Carolina and will create even more opportunities. Currently, Walmart is operating 4 distribution centers, 122 retails stores and 34136 resources are employed in South Carolina district.

The concept of automated stores is on the rise and it may result is reduction of redundant jobs. However, the future jobs will require advanced skill sets and now is the time to learn future skills.

 

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Mercedes-Benz U.S. International hiring hundreds of new employees for its plants in Tuscaloosa and Bibb counties. Mercedes are anticipating production of electric cars in 2022.

Job Announcement

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International announced that new full-time workers will be hired by the end of this year. The positions to be filled are in the department of assembly, body shop and paint shop. Some of the employees will be hired at their battery plant in Bibb County. The assembly of high voltage EV battery systems will be performed at Bibb Country. The company is looking for workers having production experience in automobile industry. Opportunity can also be provided to less experienced workers having manufacturing trainings.

“MBUSI’s commitment to being the best luxury auto manufacturer in North America is most evident in our workforce,” said Michael Göbel, president and CEO of MBUSI. “As our production continues to accelerate and evolve, we are growing the team we’ve built with additional support on a local level.”

Wages and Other Benefits

The company plans to offer $20 per hour wage rate which will rise to $25 per hour during next 4 years. The company will also provide shift premium along with MBUSI benefits programs. These benefits include:

  • Health and life insurance
  • Defined contribution retirement plan with a 401(k) match
  • An annual bonus
  • Paid holidays, vacation and emergency vacation days, along with a paid winter shutdown
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • An on-site childcare, medical center and fitness center

Eligibility Criteria

Mercedes Benz will start the production of two electric cars in 2022. The company has also planned to open a battery pack assembly facility in Bibb County. Immediate job openings are available in assembly, body shop and paint shop. Some positions are also available at the battery plant where high-voltage EV battery systems will be assembled. Applicant must have high school diploma or GED-equivalent along with 1-3 years manufacturing or industrial experience. The applicant must be able to perform essential functions of the job.

“If you want to get out of a job and into a career, this is the place to be,” said Steven King, a member of the MBUSI assembly production team who has worked at the company for 20 years.

 

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Schools in US are struggling to retain and hire teachers. So much so that a school in California was forced to send flyers home in students’ lunch boxes. The purpose was to tell parents that school is hiring teachers. There are schools where principles are acting as crossing guards. Schools are offering signing bonuses. In some districts schools are returning back to online learning due to shortage of faculty.

Teachers are Over-Burdened

It appears that teachers are not willing to work due to unsafe Covid protocols, lower wages and overwork. Teachers around US are either quitting or opting for early retirement. Scarcity of school teachers was an area of concern even prior to Covid. However, the situation has become graver during pandemic. Some schools are closing while others are facing severe shortage of teachers. Most of the teachers are over-burdened and are getting burnt out.

States Affected by Teacher Scarcity

Public schools are witnessing the issue of teacher’s shortage in fields of math, science, language and special education. Overwork and stress in Covid 19 era caused an increase in retirements and resignations. Teacher shortages and difficulties in hiring teachers are reported in New Jersey, South Dakota and Tennessee. All these districts have started the school year with hundreds of unfilled teaching vacancies. The skewed seasonal adjustment also played a role in decline of jobs. Other states are also facing similar crisis of unfilled faculty positions in schools.

Initiatives by Biden’s Administration

In June 2021, Biden’s government announced a $9 billion American Families Plan to address teacher’s shortage. The purpose of this package is to train, equip and diversify the teachers. These funds will be utilized to increase the number of people studying education and who want to get into education sector. The other purpose is to retain the existing teaching workforce and encourage people from other sectors to join education sector. Nearly one third of this $9 billion fund will go towards “Grow your Own” programs. These programs aim to recruit, retain and develop teachers.

Pandemic has seriously affected the teaching sector and US is facing the issue of teachers shortage. Some districts are affected more than others. Although the government is working for resolving this crisis. However, it looks like that the issue will persist in times to come.

 

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