Executive Summary

Sector growth hinges on the availability of labor.
Three over-arching trends point to labor availability as one of the most critical elements for continued growth of the industrial & logistics (I&L) sector: e-commerce growth, a shrinking skilled workforce and rising wages.

Industrial employment growth outpaces national average.
Overall, T&W employment in 37 top U.S. industrial markets grew by 17% between 2013 and 2017, outpacing the national average of 12.8%. Median hourly T&W wages in these markets rose by 9.6% over the same period, compared to 11.3% nationally and 7.4% for all U.S. occupations.

Small and large metros see growth in T&W employment.
I&L markets with the highest T&W employment growth from 2013 to 2017 include Charlotte (56.8%), Inland Empire (46.8%), Central Valley (45.7%), Reno (44.4%) and New Jersey (39.3%).

I&L market expansion fuels growth in T&W employment.
All of these aforementioned markets have seen a surge in I&L demand, averaging approximately 38 million sq. ft. in positive absorption and 33% growth in asking rents from 2013 to 2017.

Regional and emerging hubs see largest rise in wages.
Median hourly wages for T&W occupations rose the most in regional and emerging hubs, notably Central Valley, (17.5%), Milwaukee (17.0%), Greenville (15.0%), San Antonio (14.3%) and Kansas City (14.3%). All outpaced the overall wage growth in their markets.

Which markets off the most optimal labor availability, quality and cost?
Our analysis indicates that the markets with the highest labor supply and balance of affordability include the larger markets of Atlanta and Dallas/Ft. Worth and the smaller markets of Memphis, Indianapolis and Louisville.

Download the full report to explore these topics:
  • Trends driving the industrial & logistics labor market, including economic and demographic drivers.
  • Transportation and warehousing (T&W) labor supply vs industrial & logistics demand.
  • The impact of automation on the industrial & logistics labor market.
  • Market analysis of cost vs. labor availability.
  • The implications for industrial & logistics real estate.


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