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Supply Chain Workforce Continues to Evolve

by Mary Rooney | Oct 05, 2020

The recent surge in eCommerce has increased reliance on efficient supply chains. Specifically, the unique requirements of online order fulfillment requires more individualized packaging and shipping, sharply increasing the demand for logistics services that are not easily automated.

With these growing and changing demands, the supply chain industry is increasingly becoming a major driver of employment as people recognize its importance to the overall economy. Logistics workers play a key role in ensuring minimal disruption to daily commerce. 

This has resulted in a growing supply chain labor force that has contributed to increasing output for the industry since 2000. Between 2000 and 2019, the output of the Warehousing and Storage industry (as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) increased by 157% (sic). This increase represents a labor force that had grown from 438,000 in 2000 to 1.1 million in 2019.

In September 2020, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 74,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. Additionally, many eCommerce companies, including Amazon and Walmart, and logistics providers, like DHL, UPS and Geodis, are increasing hiring for peak season.

With the upcoming holiday season, there has been a shift from hiring in-store retail jobs to hiring more warehouse fulfillment jobs. Retailer employment ads for warehouse fulfillment type jobs have more than tripled this year over previous holiday seasons.

The sharp increase in demand has stimulated automation attempts in the supply chain industry. To this point, broad-based automation has proceeded slowly and employment has increased. Read more.

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