Next Wave in Retail Job Loss Could Be From This Sector

Not so long ago, retail job growth moved to the warehouse, but now that could be shifting fast. Warehouse jobs picked up with the rise of e-commerce and de-emphasis on in-store labor. But investments in technology and automation mean even those occupations seems to be on the decline, based on the latest jobs data. More from Sourcing Journal Outlook ’24: The ‘Year of the Commitment’ for AI No Injuries Reported in Brazil Cotton Warehouse Fire SPESA Picks LA for Next Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 216,000 in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Retail trade employment rose 17,000, reflecting little change from the prior month. Employment rose 14,000 in warehouse clubs, supercenters and other general merchandise retailers. But these gains were partially offset by a 13,000-job decline in the department store channel. The 23,000 transportation and warehousing jobs lost are particularly troubling. While couriers and messengers lost 32,000 jobs in December, air transportation added 4,000 positions. But from a big picture point-of-view, the BLS data shows that since peaking in October 2022, employment in transportation and warehousing is down by 100,000 jobs. Some of the warehousing job gains post-Covid came from supply chain disruptions that upended retail inventory as merchants fought to navigate those headwinds. Companies ramped up hiring in warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) and for other in-house logistics positions to bypass hiring outside third-party services. BLS data indicates that while apparel and accessories retailers shed 9,000 positions in May 2022, transportation and warehousing expanded by 47,000. Employment in warehousing alone rose by 18,000. Walmart added 20,000 workers in 2021, with most of those jobs in logistics and supply chain roles. Dollar General also increased its workforce that fall, even after hiring over 50,000 employees by mid-summer. But […]

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By Donato