Industrial tenants ramp up hiring to keep up with e-commerce demand

Warehouse and storage companies have added 70K jobs in the past 12 months
May 06, 2019 10:30AM

Warehousing and storage companies added 5,400 jobs in April (Credit: iStock)

Warehousing and storage companies added 5,400 jobs in April (Credit: iStock)

Surging e-commerce growth has led industrial tenants to ramp up hiring in order to keep up with all those online orders.

Warehousing and storage companies added 5,400 jobs in April, and 70,000 jobs in the last 12 months, according to Labor Department figures cited by the Wall Street Journal.

The overall unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent last month, its lowest level in 50 years. That, combined with continued e-commerce growth, has made it hard for industrial tenants in key U.S. hubs to find enough workers, experts told the Journal.

And the picture could get even better for workers, as e-commerce firms continue to open more fulfillment centers in major markets to speed up deliveries. Amazon in the coming months plans to invest $800 million to make one-day shipping standard for its Prime members, potentially boosting the warehouse labor market even more.

E-commerce has been a boon for industrial developers and investors, particularly in top markets like Chicago and the Inland Empire area outside of Los Angeles. Developers had 19.3 million square feet of industrial construction underway in Chicago in the first quarter of 2019, a 57 percent increase year over year, and the 19th consecutive quarter with at least 35 industrial buildings totaling more than 10 million square feet of construction underway.

Total foreign investment almost tripled last year in the L.A., Orange County and Inland Empire industrial market, crowning the region No. 1 in the United State. [WSJ] — John O’Brien