We’ve certainly seen a shift in our economy. Once popular retailers, like Sears and Macy’s, are closing stores, while the phrase, “I’ll just order online,” has become part of everyday speech.
If you work in (or would like to work in) the warehouse industry, you may wonder how this e-commerce trend will affect your job prospects. Right now, the news is good for warehouse employees.
Online Retail Is Creating Jobs Across the Economy
This may sound strange, especially when the U.S. is facing what experts call a retail apocalypse. Malls are dying, and brick and mortar stores are going out of business at an alarming rate. However, although general retail lost 51,000 positions over a ten-year period, the e-commerce industry created 355,000 new jobs. (Forbes, 2017) Why is online retail generating so many more positions? If you think about it, the answer makes sense. Before the internet, the customer had to drive to the store, walk the aisles, find what s/he wanted, stand in line to check out, pay for the item and drive home. Today, workers are paid for completing all those tasks the customer used to do for free. And who doesn’t love the convenience and time-saving benefits of online shopping?
Warehouse Workers Are in High Demand
Many of the new e-commerce jobs are in fulfillment centers. And with record low unemployment rates, warehouses are finding it difficult to fill positions. These jobs include everything from software developers to clerical roles to blue-collar workers and drivers. Meanwhile, the increase in demand has resulted in an increase in wages. In November 2018, Amazon raised its minimum wage for all its U.S. employees to $15 an hour. This, in turn, led other online retailers to raise wages so they could remain competitive in the labor market.
Robots Can’t Run Warehouses … Yet
Despite advances in technology, warehouses still need people. Even though companies are working on developing shuttle systems, driverless vehicles and mobile robotics, they can’t put these into place quickly enough. According to Peter Schnorbach, Product Manager of Manhattan Associates Labor Management, “The warehouse labor shortage cannot be solved with automation in the short-run.” (Forbes, 2019)
Warehouses Offer Many Different Opportunities
Warehouses require several employees to run efficiently. Some common jobs include:
- Managers (Distribution Center, Inventory Control, Warehouse)
- Warehouse Clerk – Processes customer orders
- Machine Operator – Maintains and repairs machinery
- Forklift Operator
- Warehouse Associate – Transports, stocks and pulls products
- Warehouse Packer (Pickers) – Prepares orders for shipment
- Material Handler – Moves stock to and from loading docks
- General Warehouse Worker – Unloads and loads stock from trucks
Are You Interested in Joining the Fast-Paced Warehouse Industry?
BOS Staffing places motivated light industrial and warehouse workers throughout Atlanta and northern Georgia. We can help you find a top-paying position that fits your needs. Browse our available jobs and take advantage of the e-commerce boom today!