Walmart Lures New Truck Drivers With A $110,000 Starting Salary

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Sarah Weaver Social Issues Reporter
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Walmart, Inc. is raising starting salaries for its truck drivers from $87,000 to between $95,000 and $110,000 as part of the company’s efforts to combat a nationwide shortage of truck drivers, according to a company statement released Thursday.

Walmart’s pay increase is a part of an internal training program at the company which offers workers in other departments a 12-week training course to become truck drivers.

“The investments in pay and training build on multiple recent driver bonuses and improved schedules that enable drivers to spend more time at home,” Senior Vice Presidents Fernando Cortes and Karisa Sprague said in a joint statement Thursday.

The American Trucking Association said March 25 that the shortage was not due to a high turnover rate, but that truckers are taking jobs at different carriers that offer better pay and benefits.

“Driver A, who’s been working for a fleet for only four months, knows he can jump to another carrier and get an immediate $15,000 sign-on bonus plus pay raise,” the statement read. “Six months later, he can do the same thing again. This churn—or poaching, or whatever one wants to call it—is what inflates turnover in a tight labor market.” (RELATED: Farmers Facing Inflation Might Cause Your Grocery Bill To Skyrocket)

The trucking industry lost 4,900 jobs in March.

Last year, Walmart hired 4,500 truck drivers for its fleet, the most hired in a year in the company’s history.

“With a shortage of roughly 80,000 drivers, we should be making the process of becoming a professional truck driver as user friendly as possible,” American Trucking Association president and CEO Chris Spear said in a February statement.