Making the Move to Warehouse Work
Soaring demand for warehouse space creates a highly competitive labor environment in many markets, especially during the pandemic, says Newmark Research. The following factors are driving employees to leave their jobs and enter the warehousing and transportation sector (see chart), the report says:
- More space. In the second quarter of 2021, a record 423.7 million square feet of industrial space was under construction across the United States. As this space becomes occupied, an estimated 282,470 additional workers may be needed.
- Wage growth. About half the workers who switched jobs previously worked in retail/wholesale and administrative services. National wage growth in those sectors lagged while warehousing and transportation wages grew by 4.25% from January to June 2021—a record six-month gain for the sector.
- E-commerce demand. COVID-19 has significantly impacted demand shifts and the reallocation of labor across sectors, partly resulting from nonessential retailers shutting as e-commerce activity soared. Some of the reallocation to warehousing and transportation will likely remain permanent, as e-commerce shows no signs of slowing.