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Businesses increasing wages and benefits to attract potential employees

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 10:46 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Healthcare, tourism, and restaurant workers are in high demand.

Job fairs like the one at the Peabody Hotel Tuesday are happening all across the Mid-South.

The luxury hotel is looking to fill about 120 open positions and the search for a few good employees is a competitive one, which is driving up wages and benefits.

Amazon, Bank of America, and McDonald’s are just a few companies promising higher wages.

FedEx Ground is looking to hire 1,100 people, offering up to $20 per hour for package handlers and operations managers earning nearly $30 an hour.

A FedEx spokesperson said the company is also offering recently enhanced paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and paid parental leave.

“I do not think this trend of offering a higher wage across the board to every employee is going to stick for the long-term,” said Amity Schuyler, senior vice president of Workforce Development for the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. “I do think it will cool off as people are more willing to come into the workforce. I think it will cool off as employers adjust, they figure out a way to work differently without as many staffers.”

Federal unemployment benefits ended July 3, but Schuyler says it’s too soon to tell if that is driving up applicants. However, she does think hiring bonuses and shift differentials are likely here to stay for a very long time.

The Peabody, for example, is offering $1,000 bonuses for new hires.

Schuyler says employers are also offering more flexible schedules to lure employers back into the workforce.

“If there’s one thing that employers are realizing now is that the one thing employees don’t want to give up is flexibility and the quality of life, and that doesn’t matter if you’re an hourly employee or an employee that has a college degree,” said Schuylar

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