Industrial Warehouse Boom Fuels US Labor Market

The growth of e-commerce and consumers’ increasing demands for faster delivery together are having profound effects in unexpected places. Small towns near major highways and railroads that lead to large cities are benefiting from the labor needs associated with online order fulfilment. Many towns that were declining due to mill and plant closures are undergoing an economic revival because of the influx of logistics-related businesses. With demand on the rise for last-touch warehouses in or near major cities to accommodate same-day orders, this labor need has spread to larger population centers.

According to the New York Times, since the economic recovery began in 2010, warehouses have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs. As the e-commerce boom continues, more warehouses are needed. This is good news for employment. Warehouses add workers at four times the rate of overall job growth. With e-commerce providers requiring three times the volume of warehouse space of the typical brick-and-mortar retailer, a large e-commerce fulfillment center can employ more than 2,000 people.

Prologis, the world’s largest owner and operator of industrial warehouses and distribution centers, has 2,099 logistics buildings in the U.S. as of this writing. In a 2017 partnership with Oxford Economics, we learned that more than 486,000 people go to work under a Prologis roof in the U.S. each day. Read more about Prologis’ global economic impact here.

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