(CTN News) – Following the pandemic-induced surge in employee turnover and heightened competition for workers, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has expressed that the process of hiring and retaining employees has become more manageable.
In an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen on “Squawk on the Street,” McMillon stated that the employment market has become more normalized, with the unusual conditions of the past few years having changed.
Walmart has been successful in staffing its locations nationwide, experiencing a decrease in turnover and achieving greater continuity among its workforce.
As the largest private employer and leading grocer in the nation, Walmart’s performance serves as an important indicator of both consumer well-being and the strength of the labor market.
With approximately 1.6 million employees in the United States, Walmart recently raised its minimum wage for store employees to $14 per hour, up from the previous rate of $12.
This adjustment brings Walmart closer to its competitors, such as Target, Amazon, and Best Buy, who had already implemented a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Walmart reduced starting wages for new employees responsible for online orders and restocking shelves. Job openings reached a low point in October, with a ratio of 1.3 to 1. Walmart hired minimally during the holiday season as they were already adequately staffed.
The company faced challenges during the pandemic, hiring individuals from different backgrounds and managing employees taking leave due to COVID-19.
He stated that wages are still increasing, but the rate of increase will not be as high as before.
He also mentioned that this increase is becoming more normalized.
However, the future is not as certain for U.S. consumers. He predicted that households may face tighter budgets next year, despite the decrease in prices for certain items.
According to McMillon, artificial intelligence has already started to impact employees’ jobs. As the company utilizes this technology to enhance productivity, it expects the workforce to remain the same size but with different roles.
He anticipates a decrease in the number of employees in store backrooms, but an increase on the sales floor. With the implementation of automation in Walmart’s supply chain, employees will focus more on supervision rather than physically demanding tasks.
He expressed a strong desire for individuals to prolong their careers and have the opportunity to coach their children’s soccer teams after work, instead of feeling exhausted from lifting heavy weights throughout the day.