At Gap Inc.’s fulfillment center in Gallatin, Tennessee, new workers earn a $500 bonus if they stay on the job three months. Amazon has been offering a $1,000 signing bonus in nearby Lebanon. At FedEx, workers at a Memphis hub can earn $18 an hour.

“There are plenty of positions out there,” George Carlson, workforce development director at Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee said, pointing to demand from online retailers. “For the positions for the warehouse, (wages) are actually going up.”

COVID-19 has prompted massive layoffs across Tennessee, but the surging e-commerce sector is hiring up. Even with the state’s unemployment rates more than double that of last year, the heavy demand in distribution and fulfillment is bolstering pay for those frontline workers.

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