Deep discount retailer Dollar General plans to hire up to 20,000 workers this spring, it said Wednesday, reflecting optimism about an economic recovery as more businesses open up and consumers with stimulus checks are eager to spend on basics.
The company said it will hold in-person interviews in select stores and virtual hiring events next week for jobs, including district managers, store managers, assistant store managers, part-time and full-time lead sales associates, warehouse workers and delivery drivers, among other positions.
Dollar General currently has 17,266 stores in 46 states and a workforce of about 157,000, meaning the new hiring will increase staff by up to 13%.
In fiscal 2020, Dollar General generated 22% higher net sales of $33.75 billion, as customers flocked to the low-priced retailer for basic necessities during the pandemic.
However, this latest hiring campaign falls well below the 50,000 workers Dollar General planned to hire last March at the onset of the pandemic.
Dollar General’s announcement follows similar hiring plans shared by other companies seeking to capitalize on an expected economic recovery. Last week, discount competitor Dollar Tree said it will hire thousands of workers as it plans to open 600 new stores this year. Last month, store chains Wawa and Love’s Travel Stops both announced plans to hire thousands of new workers – Wawa will add 5,000 new people through May, while Love’s seeks to hire 2,000. Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands, is set to hire 5,000, while McDonald’s plans to hire 2,500 alone in Houston as part of a program to add 25,000 employees.
Taco Bell and McDonald’s have reportedly struggled to fill available positions. To attract more general managers, Taco Bell has added perks such as four weeks of annual vacation, eight weeks of paid maternity leave, among other measures. “It is no secret that the labor market is tight” said Kelly McCulloch, Taco Bell’s chief people officer, in a statement. Andy Wiederhorn, CEO of FAT Brands Inc. which oversees Johnny Rockets restaurants, complained to Reuters: “The most recent stimulus check and unemployment benefits have been a catalyst for people to stay at home [instead of looking for work.]”
The Labor Department said in early April that 916,000 jobs were created last month, the most since 1.58 million jobs were added last August, as the overall jobless rate fell to 6% from 6.2% in February. While the retail sector added 23,000 jobs in March, that paled in comparison to job gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (280,000 new jobs); bars and restaurants (176,000) and construction industry (110,000).