How E-Commerce Demand Drives Transportation & Warehouse Jobs
The growth in e-commerce sales throughout the nation and GLA/OC/IE region increased substantially over the last five years, the ripple effect of which translated into rising industrial demand and development, extending the current growth cycle. The migration by e-commerce related users to the region since 2013 accounted for 36.3% of gross activity. Figure 1 illustrates the influence of e-commerce demand on leasing activity levels, with current demand 4% above the 5-year average.
Figure 1: GLA/OC/IE E-commerce Related Activity as a Percentage of Total Leasing Activity (2013-2018 YTD)
Analyzing e-commerce impact on transportation & warehouse (T&W) employment has become essential in determining future industrial growth. T&W employment increased annually in stride with industrial demand and the abundance of highly-skilled labor solidified GLA/OC/IE as a major hub for e-commerce users occupying warehouse facilities. Figure 2 highlights how T&W employment growth, since 2013, kept pace with industrial growth.
Figure 2: GLA/OC/IE Net Absorption, Completions & Annual T&W Employment Growth (2013 – 2018 YTD)
Strong e-commerce growth and favorable consumer demand from 2013 to 2017 resulted in more than 73,920 new T&W jobs throughout the region. The area’s densely populated metros, coupled with healthy local economies, offered countless employment opportunities.
Figure 3: Top 5 Major T&W Employment Hubs in the U.S.
In spite of concern is that e-commerce demand is siphoning skilled labor, since 2013, T&W employment in California has increased by 66% from workers crossing from one industry to another, according to the U.S Census Bureau. Moving forward, T&W labor supply will be instrumental to further industrial growth since e-commerce demand has transformed the supply chain impacting real estate and development decisions. Fortunately, The GLA/OC/IE region’s reputation nationally as a major industrial labor hub will continually draw more industrial users.