Labor shortage gives retail and restaurant workers the upper hand—for now

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Denny's Mobile Relief DinerSource: Denny'sRestaurant chain Denny's recently mobilized its 53-foot kitchen truck. But instead of serving up pancakes and coffee to natural disaster victims, as it usually does, it had a different mission: a nationwide hiring tour.Employers are going to new lengths to attract workers. CVS Health dropped its requirement that entry-level job candidates have a high school diploma. And Walmart is doling out bonuses to warehouse workers for staying on the job this summer and fall.For many low-wage workers, the tighter labor market means that the tables have turned with employers. Companies' desire to quickly fill job openings has taken on more urgency, as retailers gear up for the holiday season and restaurants race to make up for months when they had to temporarily shutter or they saw sales crater. That has meant bigger paydays and perks for employees.In recent months, Chipotle Mexican Grill has raised hourly wages and introduced referral bonuses, whi
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