BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart said it is shifting more of its U.S. workforce to full-time status, a move that will give employees more consistent schedules from week to week. The nation’s largest private employer said it expects two-thirds of its hourly roles in the United States will be full-time by January 2022, the end of its fiscal year. Assuming the target is met, Walmart will have about 100,000 employees in full-time positions at year’s end than it had five years ago.
“We believe full-time schedules complement the other ways we are preparing for the future of retail,” Drew Holler, senior vice president, Walmart U.S. people operations, wrote in an April 14 post on the company’s website.
The plan should help Walmart retain workers as the economy recovers from pandemic-related disruptions. Walmart added about 500,000 people last year to help it meet surging demand in stores and online for food and other household essentials. The starting wage at Walmart is $11 an hour. Employees working 34 hours or more are classified as full-time, although anyone working at least 30 hours a week qualifies for health benefits.
“We’re uniquely positioned to offer a combination of stability and room for growth that few others can match,” Holler wrote. “We are prioritizing consistent schedules, skills training and new pathways for growth, so all jobs at Walmart can lead to careers. We know offering more full-time opportunities along with skills, training and equipping associates with tools to make work easier will help us continue to attract and retain top talent.”
Walmart noted that the retail sector trails only health care in providing jobs for Americans. Six in 10 Americans have worked in retail, the company said, and nearly a third of all first jobs are in retail. “Whether people find retail as a launching pad, a landing pad, or a new career path all its own, many Americans share the retail experience,” according to a report titled “Walmart and the Retail Opportunity.”
Walmart has made other moves in recent years to help it attract and retain workers, including the adoption of a more generous parental-leave policy and a program that lets workers who enroll in college pay tuition of just $1 a day.
“Having full-time associates has never been more important than it is right now. Our growing pickup and delivery business calls for us to create more full-time job opportunities as our stores increasingly operate as both fulfillment centers and retail spaces,” Holler said. “We are following the full-time staffing approach that has been successful in our distribution centers and fulfillment centers, where more than 80% of our current associates are full-time. We were on this journey well before the pandemic began. In 2016, about 53% of our U.S. hourly store workforce held full-time positions. Reaching the two-thirds mark by the end of the year means we will have approximately 100,000 more full-time positions than we did five years ago – representing meaningful investments in our associates’ pay, hours and stability.”View Original Article