Retail

Couriers, Messenger Companies Helped July’s Job Growth

The jobs report for the month of July was strong, and the U.S. may have online sales to thank for the jump in jobs to handle the eCommerce and internet shopping increase.

According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, courier and messenger companies brought on 3,200 new workers in July, marking the fourth month in a row of job increases. The WSJ, citing statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said employment at package delivery firms in the last month hit 669,200, up from 668,000 in December of 2016, a past record for the industry.

The courier and messenger industry has benefited as more people shop online and thus have packages delivered to their homes. While courier and messenger companies are seeing job growth and increasing the number of positions they staff, hiring at warehousing and storage companies is on the decline, slashing 2,200 jobs in July.

Executives have said they are having a tough time finding workers for warehouse jobs. In the past year, the sector saw a job growth increase of 33,500 jobs with companies like Amazon adding distribution and fulfillment centers around the country. The U.S. labor market added 209,000 jobs in July, with the service sector seeing the biggest jump during the month.

Looking ahead to the holiday shopping season, when all types of retailers — both online and offline — must respond to booming business and package delivery demands, logistics companies are already increasing their hiring, reported The Wall Street Journal. Last week, Amazon held job fairs around the country — including in its fulfillment centers — with an aim to hire 50,000 new workers for mainly fulfillment and package sorting roles. The eCommerce giant said it planned to make on-the-spot hires during the daylong event.

Brian Devine, senior vice president at logistics staffing company ProLogistix, told the WSJ that demand for workers is higher than even in the peak season.

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