US retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers
US retailers are hoping higher pay will buy them more productive workers
By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER and ANNE D'INNOCENZIO AP Business Writers
December 29, 2018, 3:24 PM
• 1 min read
WASHINGTON -- America's retailers, struggling to fill jobs, have been raising pay to try to keep and attract enough employees. Now, some stores want something in return: A more efficient worker.
To that end, retailers, fast food restaurants and other lower-wage employers are boosting investment in technology and redesigning stores. Walmart is automating its truck unloading to require fewer workers on loading docks. Kohl's is using more hand-held devices to speed check-outs and restock shelves. McDonald's is increasingly replacing cashiers with self-service kiosks to free workers for table service.
Retail workers, though comparatively low-paid, have enjoyed some of the best wage gains in the past year. Their hourly pay rose 4.3 percent in November from a year earlier — much faster than such higher-wage industries as manufacturing, where pay rose 1.8 percent.