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US retailers hope higher pay will buy more efficient workers

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FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, employees demonstrate how air pillow machines work at a packaging station in the backroom of a Target store ...
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Laurence Marzo, left, and Ty Ford, right, move a conveyor belt into place to help unload a truck carrying mer...
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran talks about the technology the company is using to keep shelves sto...
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, a Bossa Nova robot scans shelves to help provide associates with real-time inventory data at a Walmart Superc...
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, Target employees sort boxed items from online orders to be shipped out to customers at at a Target store in ...

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, employees demonstrate how air pillow machines work at a packaging station in the backroom of a Target store ...

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Laurence Marzo, left, and Ty Ford, right, move a conveyor belt into place to help unload a truck carrying mer...

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran talks about the technology the company is using to keep shelves sto...

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, a Bossa Nova robot scans shelves to help provide associates with real-time inventory data at a Walmart Superc...

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, Target employees sort boxed items from online orders to be shipped out to customers at at a Target store in ...

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's retailers, struggling to fill jobs, have been raising pay to try to keep and attract enough employees. Now, some stores want something in return: A more efficient worker.

To that end, retailers, fast food restaurants and other lower-wage employers are boosting investment in technology and redesigning stores. Walmart is automating its truck unloading to require fewer workers on loading docks. Kohl's is using more hand-held devices to speed check-outs and restock shelves. McDonald's is increasingly replacing cashiers with self-service kiosks to free workers for table service.

Retail workers, though comparatively low-paid, have enjoyed some of the best wage gains in the past year. Their hourly pay rose 4.3 percent in November from a year earlier — much faster than such higher-wage industries as manufacturing, where pay rose 1.8 percent.


Updated : 2021-05-09 11:01 GMT+08:00