Parcel carriers cut jobs, while warehousing and trucking add positions
- Courier and messenger companies slashed their workforce by 9,700 in February, while warehouse operators and trucking companies added 4,800 jobs combined across their sectors from January to February, according to the March report from the Department of Labor.
- Over the past 12 months the parcel sector, including UPS and FedEx, added 53,100 jobs, including 14,500 in January alone.
- Wages at delivery firms stumbled, with the average hourly rate about $21 in January, compared to $22 a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported. Payrolls at courier and messenger companies grew 8% in the past year.
The labor shortage has led warehouse and trucking companies to compete for workers, although overall the economy added only 20,000 jobs in February, below economists' expectations.
To overcome the labor shortage, Prologis, the largest owner of warehouses and distribution centers, has partnered with local workforce programs in Southern California and other locations to prepare high school students for logistics positions, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Goods-producing industries dropped 32,000 jobs from the payrolls in February, perhaps a signal of lower output that will also reduce demand for transportation and logistics services.
The warehouse sector added 3,900 jobs in February, roughly a third of the number that came in January. Distribution and storage companies have raised pay and benefits to compete for employees during this period of historic low unemployment.
Trucking companies in February added 900 workers, the 10th straight month of growth during a historically strong freight market. Wage increases of about 4% helped truckload employers add about 13,000 workers during 2018, nearly double the number hired in 2017.