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Equality
Economics

Even at $25 an Hour, Key Tampon Factory Can’t Keep Enough Workers

  • Production of Tampax tampons is hindered at Maine plant
  • Crunch is emblematic of ‘unsustainably hot’ US labor market

For the latest example of just how tight US labor markets are, look to consumer-goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. In its bid to lure workers to one of the country’s most important tampon plants, the company has been raising wages for months.

Ahead of a February 2021 job fair, the company advertised a starting hourly rate of $17.91 at the plant in Auburn, Maine. That was up to $23.41 in July. And by January, it hit $25.41, topping the national average for manufacturing workers by almost 50 cents. The advertised average annual wage has gone from $47,000 to $57,00 to $60,800 -- with “opportunity to grow.” Highlighted benefits include 15 paid vacation days, 12 paid holidays, health insurance and a free fitness center.