Good Help Is Hard to Find: The Continuing Warehouse Labor Shortage Trend
By Bruce Baring
Can retail’s pain result in distribution’s gain?
The growth in e-Commerce is one of the contributing factors to scarcity of good warehouse workers. Even the shift from retail to e-Commerce and the resultant job losses in retail is not enough to offset the demand for workers.
Economist Michael Mandel, head of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, found that e-Commerce had actually added 397,000 jobs to the U.S. economy between 2007 and 2017 as traditional retail had shed about 76,000 jobs.
Over the last two years, the growth of Warehouse and Storage employment (NAICS 493) has increased at a much faster rate than overall employment growth and looks to be continuing that trajectory.
What does this mean for your business?
These four steps can help minimize the growing labor shortfalls:
- Locate your facility in the right location to take advantage of good labor pools
- Re-engineer your processes to minimize the labor requirements
- Automate processes where feasible
- Create a culture that people want to join and that ensures loyalty
It may sound simple, but considering these steps at the core of your distribution operations strategy can make good help a whole lot easier to find.