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Soaring Real Wages for Ecommerce Workers

By / 3.9.2018

There’s a lot of talk about labor monopsony these days.  But at least in ecommerce, the labor market seems to be working the old-fashioned way—booming demand for fulfillment center workers and package delivery workers is leading to sharply rising real wages. Over the past year, employment of production and nonsupervisory workers in the warehousing industry has risen by 5%, while employment of production and nonsupervisory workers in the courier and messenger industry has soared by a striking 8.7% (all figures in this post are 3-month averages).

At the same time, real hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers in the warehousing industry are up by 6% over the past year, while real hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers in the courier and messenger industry are up by 2.6%.   Meanwhile the private sector as a whole showed no real wage gain at all.

Can we expect this to continue? There’s no reason why not.  There’s no great surge of unemployed workers coming out of retail to hold down wages.  Indeed, the number of production and nonsupervisory workers in retail is up 76K in February over a year earlier.

At least for now, ecommerce is the place to be.