E-commerce is roiling retailers but it’s proving a boon to the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that total nonfarm jobs increased by 255,000 in July, the best two-month streak so far this year, with gains in professional and business services, health care and financial activities. Mining continued to trend down.
Transportation and warehousing employers added 11,700 jobs last month, led by 4,400 hires in passenger transportation. Increases were also recorded in companies providing logistics services to e-commerce. Couriers and messengers hired 1,800 people in July, for a total of 18,600 over last year, while warehousing and storage added 2,600 positions, totaling 48,100 more than a year ago.
Non-store retailers increased their payrolls, too, hiring 2,800 people last month, for a total of 22,500 more than last year. It was a trend recorded across the retail industry, which added 14,700 jobs in July, driven by gains in general merchandise stores (2,400). In addition, clothing and accessories stores hired 1,000, after cutting 2,200 jobs in June. Sporting goods retailers added 1,400 positions, which was relatively unchanged from the previous month, while department stores trimmed 100 jobs.
In other news, textiles and apparel companies did not contribute to the 9,000 jobs gained by the manufacturing industry. Textile mills laid off 300 and textile product mills cut 800 positions, while apparel firms lost 2,500 workers.
Elsewhere, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9% in July, with the number of unemployed people essentially unchanged from June at 7.8 million. In fact, both measures have seen little to no movement since August of last year.