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We Look At Who’s Hiring vs Who’s Firing (#GotBitcoin?)

A slowdown in hiring in transportation and logistics sector follows strong expansion over previous year. We Look At Who’s Hiring vs Who’s Firing (#GotBitcoin?)

Hiring at parcel-delivery firms plummeted in February as job growth slowed sharply across the broader U.S. economy, even as payrolls expanded in other logistics sectors.

Courier and messenger companies, made up mostly of the companies that deliver packages to homes and businesses, cut 9,700 jobs last month, according to preliminary figures the Labor Department released Friday. Warehouse operators and trucking companies added a combined 4,800 jobs from January to February.

The slide in parcel hiring was the steepest drop since January 2017 in a sector that includes United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. Package carriers have added 53,100 jobs over the past 12 months, including 14,500 in January, as e-commerce growth led to more delivery demand.

“This was not a great month for couriers and messengers,” said Martha Gimbel, director of economic research at jobs website’s hiring lab.

Delivery-firm wages also have slipped, counter to the broader national trend. The average hourly wage in the courier and messenger sector was about $21 in January, the most recent data available by sector, compared with $22 a year earlier, Ms. Gimbel said.

The 2018 labor agreement between UPS and unionized workers in its main package division “should lower the effective hourly rate of marginal labor,” Bernstein Research analyst David Vernon wrote in a Friday research note.

Ms. Gimbel noted courier and messenger payrolls have grown by 8% in a year and that movements in hiring in specific industry sectors can be volatile from time to time.

“In the long view, growth has been quite strong,” Ms. Gimbel said. “One month should not cause people to panic, particularly when it was a month that was slow all around.”

Overall the U.S. economy added 20,000 jobs in February, far fewer than economists had expected. Goods-producing industries slashed payrolls by 32,000 jobs, potentially a signal of weaker output that would reduce demand for transportation and logistics services.

Construction payrolls shrank by 31,000, and retailers cut 6,100 positions. Manufacturing added 4,000 jobs, down from 21,000 in January, and factory output softened as cold weather in the Midwest caused transportation disruptions and closed factories.

Warehouse operators added 3,900 jobs last month, nearly a third of January’s postholiday hiring surge.

“There’s a real shortage of labor,” Hamid Moghadam, chief executive of industrial real estate giant Prologis Inc., said in an interview this week. The world’s largest owner of warehouses and distribution centers, the company is working with local workforce programs in Southern California and elsewhere to train high-school students for logistics jobs.

Distribution and storage companies are raising pay and other benefits as they compete with Inc. and others for staff while unemployment is hovering around its lowest in decades.

Trucking companies hired 900 workers in February, the 10th straight month of growth as carriers coming off one of the strongest freight markets in years continue adding capacity. Fleets ordered new trucks at a record clip last year, and have been raising pay to boost hiring.

Long-distance truckload employment added about 13,000 workers last year, “nearly double the number added in 2017, helped partly by a 4% increase in average hourly wages,” KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Todd Fowler wrote in a Thursday research note. “In our view, industry employment trends are contributing to reduced driver attrition, further supporting incremental capacity near term.”

Updated: 8-11-2020

U.S. Employers Shed IT Jobs Amid Faltering Reopening Plans

Job postings in once-hot tech sector cool off as firms assess economic outlook.

U.S. employers shed roughly 134,000 information-technology jobs in July, according to IT trade group CompTIA, a signal that companies might be taking a wait-and-see approach as questions remain over everything from a new stimulus package to the return of in-person schooling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

July marked the first month of tech job declines since March, as employers across industries expanded net IT head count in April, May and June, according to CompTIA. While tech jobs remain among the most in-demand, some firms may be hesitant to fill openings as they assess how the economy develops, said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence.

“Perhaps they want to see how the stimulus package is going to play out,” Mr. Herbert said. “They want to see how states navigate school reopenings—a lot of those factors that they probably are hoping to get some clarity on before investing in additional hires.”

The results are based on an analysis of last week’s U.S. Labor Department data, which reported that 1.8 million new jobs were added in July, lowering the unemployment rate to 10.2% from 11.1% in June. The unemployment rate for tech jobs stood at 4.4% in July, up from 4.3% in June.

Roughly half of the nation’s 12 million technology workers are employed in the enterprise-tech sector, with the rest in IT-related jobs at companies spread across the economy. Together they represent roughly 8% of the U.S. workforce, according to CompTIA.

CompTIA’s analysis of tech-sector employment includes positions such as sales, marketing and operations, as well as core technology workers.

Tech-sector job cuts in July were driven in part by losses in the IT-and-software services segment, as well as the tech manufacturing sector, which produces hardware and other components, CompTIA said.

Across all sectors, job postings in IT fell to roughly 235,000 in July, down from nearly 269,000 in June and about 358,000 in March. The sectors with the most tech-job postings in July were professional and technical services with 39,956 postings, finance and insurance at 18,756, and manufacturing at 17,473.

“Professionals across the board are feeling the tightened market,” said Adam Lombardi, senior director of delivery transformation at staffing firm Kforce Inc., speaking about tech workers.

Despite the job losses in July, more than 500,000 IT jobs have been added so far this year, including a net 203,000 jobs from April to July—with tech jobs related to cybersecurity and e-commerce fueling many of the gains, CompTIA analysts said.

Graig Paglieri, the technology and engineering group president at staffing firm Randstad US, said the company’s clients have been beefing up their IT support staff job postings. “As many of us continue to work from home, there’s an increased burden on companies to provide sufficient technical support to their remote employees, which is why we’ve seen an increase in IT support roles by 16% in July.”

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