The Wall Street Journal exposes the weak underbelly of America’s e-commerce explosion.
Logistics companies returned to hiring last month after a dip in September, adding thousands of jobs in trucking, warehousing and air transportation.
Air transportation companies added 2,500 jobs in September, bringing total job gains in the segment to 13,400 over the past year. And rail transportation gained of 400 jobs after deep cutbacks in recent months that have cut payrolls by 19,800 jobs over the last 12 months because of a steep decline in coal and energy shipments.
Meanwhile, the growing popularity of online shopping is fueling logistics hiring. Warehousing and storage companies added 3,300 jobs in October, for a total of 43,600 new jobs in the sector over the past year. Courier and messenger companies added 1,500 jobs from September to October.
The shift to e-commerce was also evident in retail hiring numbers. Head counts reduced by 10,900 in electronics and appliance stores, and by 15,600 in clothing and accessories stores—merchandise categories that are among the most popular for online purchases. Payrolls for both types of stores are down from a year earlier. Stores selling furniture and home furnishings, a smaller but fast-growing segment of e-commerce, slashed 2,800 jobs.