Because of the high proportion of hourly support workers, the retail sector has always had greater turnover compared to other industries. Typically, we see retail turnover rates at 1.4 times the rate of other industries, but we’ve seen this rate accelerate during the pandemic. Retail turnover is now 1.5 times the general industry rate, according to our
While turnover is always costly to an organization through time spent recruiting and training employees and loss in productivity, a bigger impact on costs could be whether turnover is driving up wages.
Another factor influencing retail sector wages is the continued shift toward e-commerce, which has accelerated since the pandemic began. As of September 30, 2019, 17% of all retail new job postings were related to fullment and delivery roles. By September 30, 2020, the proportion of fulfillment and delivery jobs rose to 24% of all job postings. The median wages for fulfillment and delivery jobs is now 21% higher than store jobs.
While wages for store employees lag those for fulfillment and delivery roles, we found that median wages for all job roles are higher in regions with a large number of distribution and fulfillment centers. In other words, the data shows that where there is a concentration of fulfillment and delivery jobs in a region (i.e., more e-commerce activity), there is not only greater pressure on wages for those roles, but it also causes retail store wages to rise as well.
As the e-commerce business continues to grow, and a greater number of distribution centers create more fulfillment and delivery jobs, we expect an increase in offered wages for all types of retail jobs, including store roles. Organizations must continuously keep abreast of local market wage movements as the job market for retail workers is quickly changing.
To help our clients best understand the real-time market for wages and jobs in the retail sector, we have developed a tool that tracks wages and job postings across metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. Dashboard users can look at the current number of job postings and median offered wages for a given geographic area, and how the number of job postings and wages have changed year-over-year.
Click here to access the complimentary retail dashboard.
In addition, each month we will publish an infographic that highlights the top five fastest growing markets for jobs and highest offered wages, based on the fifty largest metropolitan statistical areas.
For questions about trends and topics in the retail and e-commerce sector, please contact the author or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bureau of Labor Statistics