Apr 7, 2022 - Economy

Walmart truckers to start at $95,000+ a year

Illustration of a delivery truck with a 100 dollar bill on the side

Illustration: Allie Carl, Sarah Grillo/Axios

Getting goods from point A to point B hasn’t gotten any easier since the pandemic has eased.

Why it matters: Businesses say profits are being limited by transportation bottlenecks that they’re urgently trying to solve.

Driving the news: Walmart is now the latest employer to bump trucker pay as it tries to keep up with shoppers’ demands.

State of play: Consumers still want everything delivered while labor shortages and working conditions in transportation worsen.

  • The trucking industry lost 4,900 jobs last month, the first monthly decline since the start of the pandemic.
  • In 2021, there was a record deficit of 80,000 drivers, the American Trucking Associations trade group said — though some critics point to this as a lobbying tactic.

Walmart’s starting salary for truck drivers is now between $95,000 and $110,000 a year, up from an average of $87,000, a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

  • Depending on what and how far a trucker hauls, the national median salaries range from as little as $40,000 to more than $264,000, according to FreightWaves

What they’re saying: “I have nothing against investment bankers. They could all retire and nothing much would change. [Truckers] all quit, everything comes to a halt,” President Joe Biden said this week at a White House event promoting his administration’s Trucking Action Plan.

  • For context: Investment banking analysts, who are also questioning their own quality of life, start at $110,000 at JPMorgan.

The big picture: Companies aren’t sitting still hoping that wages will lure people to delivery jobs — Walmart and other retailers have also been testing autonomous trucks and vehicles to replace more than 500,000 long-haul and last mile delivery drivers.

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