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Shifting Tides in the Warehouse Job Market: Richmond Rises, Memphis Declines Amidst National Consume

In a recent analysis by Oxford Economics, a nuanced employment landscape has emerged across American cities in the warehousing sector, amidst a backdrop of declining national consumer demand. This comprehensive study, covering the period from the second quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, revealed a mixed bag of employment trends in the warehouse job market among the largest 50 cities, determined by the scale of company payrolls.

Richmond, Virginia, emerged as a standout performer, leading the pack with a notable 7.3% increase in warehouse employment. This surge contrasts sharply with the situation in Memphis, Tennessee, which experienced the most significant downturn, witnessing a 16.2% decline in similar job opportunities. Other cities showing notable movements include Los Angeles, Sacramento, California, and Chicago, each demonstrating varying degrees of employment growth in this sector.

However, the overall national trend indicates a general slowdown in warehouse job creation, with a 2.8% decrease since mid-2022. This trend reflects a broader economic shift, as e-commerce, a key driver of warehousing and logistics jobs, adjusts to changing market dynamics.

Senior Economist Barbara Denham from Oxford Economics, in a detailed assessment, forecasts a tempered growth in warehousing jobs over the next five years. This projection is based on the recent slowdown in the sector, alongside broader trends in job and retail sales growth.

Denham’s analysis suggests that while certain regions continue to outpace general employment growth in warehouse jobs, the overall pace is likely to be more subdued compared to the rapid growth observed from early 2018 to mid-2022.

Source: MMCG, CoStar, Oxford Economics

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