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Meeting Demand, US Logistics Sector Job Growth Continued in July

The logistics sector, buoyed by e-commerce and the consumer and business trend toward on-demand delivery, continues to serve up strong employment numbers.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) July employment report showed delivery firms, trucking companies and warehouse operators added 15,600 jobs, as companies geared up for the back to school and holiday shipping season.

Courier and messenger companies added 7,600 jobs last month, continuing job growth in transport operations for the 18th straight month in a sector that includes parcel carriers. Warehouse and storage firms, where hiring has also has expanded in great part due to digital commerce growths, added 3,600 jobs in the month.

Trucking companies hired 4,400 workers in July amid reports of a shortage of drivers causing some carriers to turn down freight business. Truck operators have added more than 27,000 jobs over the last year.

UPS last month reported consolidated revenue increased 9.6% to $17.5 billion, on growth across all segments. Net income rose 7.3% to $1.49 billion. The U.S. segment saw revenue grow 6.3% to $103.54 million, driven by e-commerce demand and increased revenue per piece over the prior year.

“The Supply Chain and Freight segment delivered another quarter of double-digit growth in revenue and adjusted operating profit,” David Abney, UPS chairman and CEO, said. “Our targeted growth strategies and improved efficiencies produced the segment’s best profit growth in its history.”

The overall U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July, fewer than economists had expected, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%. The retail sector, boosted by strong growth in consumer sales in recent months, added 7,000 jobs, according to the National Retail Federation.

July saw monthly gains in general merchandise stores, which added 14,000 jobs, clothing and accessories stores, with 10,000 additional jobs, and food and beverage stores, up 8,000 jobs. Offsetting the gains, employment decreased by 32,000 jobs in sporting, hobby, book and music stores.

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate was 3.9%, down from 4 percent in June.

Ben Herzon, executive director of U.S. Economics at Macroeconomic Advisers by IHS Markit, said the report “points to solid growth of labor income in the third quarter,” adding that it is “indicative of solid growth of labor income in the near term.”