Things were looking grim for the logistics and trucking sectors over the past year, with a loss of thousands of jobs in June alone. In recent months, however, things have been looking up on the logistics employment front. Over the summer, both logistics and transportation companies have increased hiring significantly.
Logistics & Transportation Sectors
During the month of July, the logistics and transportation sectors added a total of 11,700 jobs, followed by an additional 14,900 jobs added in August, according to the U.S. Labor Department. This is great news, consideringshipping volumes for coal and energy have been remarkably low, and manufacturing activity has decreased considerably over the past year.
Shipping imports by sea have been well below the expected levels for late summer, which in the past has been a consistently strong time of year. Demand remained low for railroad and highway shipments as well. However, August brought a positive trend, with 100 jobs being added, following more than 24,000 job cuts earlier in 2016.
The Trucking Industry
The trucking industry in particular was among the notable industries for employment growth in July and August, with an increase of1,700 jobs in July, and 3,400 in August. This comes as a major relief after the industry had been consistently cutting jobs for much of the year due to low demands worldwide, with 6,300 jobs lost in just the month of June.
While job growth for the trucking industry still falls well below where it was a year ago, positive movements in the manufacturing industry have lead industry analysts to believe that the market is on an upward trend.
U.S. Employment Statistics
As a whole, the United States added151,000 jobs during the month of August, which is a relatively significant decrease in hiring compared with recent months. And, according to the Department of Labor, theunemployment rate has remained the same, at 4.9%, which means the increase in jobs is generally at a standstill right now. It’s hard to say what the future holds, but some say interest rate increases were pushed off until at least December by the Fed as a result.
The Impact of E-Commerce
E-commerce has played a significant role in the increase in logistics hiring, due to the high tendency for today’s consumers to do much of their shopping online. This proved to be especially true for warehousing and storage organizations, as the industries combined added more than 48,100 jobs in the past year, with 2,600 being added during the month of August.
Similarly, firms providing courier and messenger services added approximately 18,600 jobs in 2016 so far, with 1,800 being added in August. Manufacturing companies also contributed to the total U.S. jobs added, with 9,000 jobs being added in July, prior to 15,000 being added in June. Industry experts are saying that companies connected to e-commerce activities may be experiencing an increased hiring volume in preparation for online holiday shopping demands.
The Future of Logistics Employment
There is still a long way to go, but things appear to be improving. The past couple of months have inspired hope for the possibility of continued growth in transportation and logistics employment rates if these sectors continue to add jobs each month.