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Opinion
Jared Dillian

Walmart Truckers Earn as Much as Some Bankers. Good.

The pandemic and supply-chain disruptions have upended the notion of an essential job.

Truckers are being rewarded like some Wall Street bankers.

Truckers are being rewarded like some Wall Street bankers.

Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images. 

Walmart Inc. said it will pay its entry-level truckers $95,000 to $110,000 a year, which is 26% higher than what it previously paid and approximately even with what a junior banker on Wall Street might make even with their advanced degrees from an Ivy League institution. This is sure to upset junior bankers, who are probably putting in a lot more time in the office than truckers are on the road but may not provide as much benefit to society.  

The compensation offered by the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer exposes just how uneven the labor shortage is these days. There is a dearth of truckers, painters, roofers, plumbers and others to fill blue collar jobs. Almost half of manufacturing executives are turning down business opportunities due to a lack of workers,  according to a report last month from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.  Although it may be true that banking is more highly skilled labor than trucking, there is abundance of bankers and you can’t fool the laws of supply and demand. A few months ago, I heard of painters making $45 an hour in New Jersey, which comes out to about $90,000 a year. Doesn’t sound like such a bad deal.