The retail industry is finally getting some good news after a rocky few years. Top stocks like Walmart and Target are rebounding, sales are on the rise and, according to two new studies, employee paychecks are getting bigger, both on the sales floor and in the C-suite.
Glassdoor analyzed wages across 84 job titles in the U.S. as part of its annual Local Pay Reports survey and found that cashiers and retail key holders were among the positions with the fastest pay growth. Cashiers saw their median wages increase 5.4 percent to $28,145 between July 2017 and July 2018, while key holders’ pay jumped 4.9 percent to $29,794.
“Despite weak retail hiring in recent months…several retail jobs experienced solid pay gains in July,” said Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain. “This may reflect shifting skills in today’s retail world, as companies’ needs shift towards workers with more specialized skills in areas like customer service and technology.”
With the tight labor market and solid economy — save Trump’s trade war and looming threats of new tariffs — the sluggishness of overall wage growth during the current expansion has become a bugbear for many economists, with some blaming automation and others pointing to national policies that systemically disenfranchise workers.
Glassdoor’s data may indicate that this pace is finally picking up, though we’ll know more on Friday when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its July jobs report.
In a separate study, consulting firm Korn Ferry looked at data from 65 major North American retailers with median annual sales of about $5.2 billion. It found that the percentage of executives taking home 100 percent or more of their targeted bonuses almost doubled from last year, from 15 percent in 2017 to 29 percent in 2018.
The percentage of executives receiving no bonus also dropped dramatically, from 29 percent last year to just 5 percent this year, the lowest rate in at least five years.
“Despite ongoing high-profile retail closures, the industry in general is continually evolving to attract customers and increase financial performance,” said Craig Rowley, a senior partner at Korn Ferry specializing in retail. “That results in an increase in the size of bonuses that retailers are able to award their executives.”