Top National Workforce Trends for Distribution Centers for the First Half of 2021
by Allison Boden, on Jul 19, 2021 5:06:33 PM
In the current economic climate, finding an available workforce is more important than ever when locating a distribution operation. To help our clients be certain that they can meet their hiring needs, Site Selection Group, a full-service location advisory and economic incentives firm, evaluates and monitors talent trends in the distribution sector. This information is useful whether a company is hiring 200 or 2,000 workers.
Distribution workforce growth spreads out west
Looking forward to the next five years, the data suggest some geographic diversity in distribution occupational growth. In particular, metros in the West are seeing high growth as companies expand their operations there as they seek an efficient distribution network. Several markets in Texas are also projected to see high growth.
Top 20 metro areas for distribution talent growth 2020-2025
|Metro Area||2020-2025 Projected
|Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV||15.30%|
|Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX||14.80%|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL||13.40%|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||13.10%|
|Boise City, ID||12.40%|
|New Haven-Milford, CT||11.50%|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||10.60%|
|Salt Lake City, UT||10.20%|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||9.40%|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||8.90%|
Trend of overall increase in job posting activity continues
Job postings data reveal insights into demand for labor within material moving occupations. Site Selection Group utilizes online job postings data via EMSI and CareerBuilder to evaluate labor demand conditions within the sector. The table below shows the top 20 markets with the greatest change in demand for distribution workers over the past year. A couple years ago, this same analysis saw a general decrease in hiring activity, but job postings have since continued to show high growth.
Top 20 metro areas with highest growth in material moving occupation demand
|Metro Area||Avg. Monthly Postings (July 2020 – June 2021)||Avg. Monthly Postings (July 2019 – June 2020)||One Year Change|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||412||282||31.60%|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||765||524||31.40%|
|Charleston-North Charleston, SC||210||151||27.80%|
|Salt Lake City, UT||330||238||27.70%|
|Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI||182||132||27.50%|
Northeast experiencing higher posting intensity
Posting intensity, that is, the average number of times the same job will appear on different job boards, is another way to measure demand for labor. In short, if companies place their job postings on, for example, 10 boards instead of five, it indicates they are working harder to find talent – one sign of a tightening labor market. The table below shows the top 20 markets that experienced an uptick in job posting intensity over the past year. Here, as with last few years, increases in posting intensity are concentrated primarily in markets in the Northeast.
Top 20 most competitive metro areas for distribution jobs
|Metro Area||Avg. Posting Intensity (July 2020 – June 2021)||Avg. Posting Intensity (July 2019 – June 2020)||One Year Change|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||6.9||5.3||22.60%|
|Baton Rouge, LA||5.8||4.6||20.80%|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA||6.3||5.2||18.20%|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||6.8||5.8||15.70%|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||6.4||5.4||15.50%|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||6.5||5.5||14.80%|
Diverse analyses optimize location decision
While the information above provides insight into real-time labor market conditions, it is only one part of establishing a balanced and substantive assessment of a market. Site Selection Group works with its clients to develop a balanced analysis utilizing data from many diverse sources to identify the optimal labor market for distribution centers from a macro perspective to avoid the risk of locating in a sub-optimal market.
Sources: EMSI/CareerBuilder. Average monthly postings and average posting intensity (i.e. total online postings of one particular job) for Material Moving Occupations. List filtered to include only those metro areas with at least 100 average job postings in the time frames analyzed to prevent small market outliers.