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: Want a big signing bonus? Walgreens is offering $75,000 as it recruits new pharmacists.

Are you interested in a signing bonus the size of some people’s annual salary? If you are a pharmacist, this could be your opportunity.

Walgreens
WBA,
+1.30%

is offering newly hired pharmacists at some of its locations a $75,000 signing bonus just for agreeing to take the job in an effort to counteract staffing shortages.

Pharmacist jobs paid a median salary of $128,570 in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that number is quite similar to the average salary for a Walgreens pharmacist, which, according to Glassdoor data, sits just north of $133,000.

Walgreens is hoping the signing bonus will entice prospective employees to apply for these jobs, which it has had a hard time filling.

“This is one of many steps to address pharmacy staffing in some areas,” a Walgreens spokesman is quoted as saying to Wall Street Journal.

Walgreens typically offers signing bonuses near $30,000 or as high as $50,000, according to the Journal, and those bonuses are usually paid out once a new employee has remained on the job for a certain period, generally a year or longer.

See also: Walgreens contributed to San Francisco’s opioid crisis, judge rules

Companies oftentimes offer signing bonuses for positions that they are struggling to fill and in seller’s markets in the employment sphere. During a labor shortage at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies, including Amazon
AMZN,
+2.07%
,
Chipotle
CMG,
+2.00%

and McDonald’s
MCD,
+1.12%
,
offered lucrative signing bonuses to new employees.

Walgreens did not immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment for this story.

The news comes as the latest jobs report indicated that the labor market is still quite strong in the U.S. despite inflation and rising interest rates and fear of a looming recession — the U.S. added 528,000 jobs in July and unemployment fell to prepandemic levels.

Best New Ideas in Money podcast: The recession question: Can the Fed tackle inflation without pushing the U.S. economy into recession?

The signing-bonus news for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
WBA,
+1.30%

comes as the company recently upped its dividend payout and abandoned a plan to divest U.K.-based health and beauty retailer Boots and No7 Beauty Co.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. are down 23% to date in 2022, comparing unfavorably with the S&P 500
SPX,
+1.73%
,
which has slipped by about half that much this year.

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