Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Revised Data Reveal Explosive Growth of E-commerce in the Stockton Area: Transportation and Warehousing Jobs Now Exceed Retail Jobs

The annual benchmark revisions of local area employment data was released today (benchmarking is a once a year process to sync the monthly survey data with complete tax filings data).  As I expected, there was a large positive revision to Stockton area growth that now more accurately captures the full growth of the logistics industry.

Specifically, the Stockton area year over year job growth is now reported at a sizzling 4.8% annual rate, rather than the underestimated 1.6% in last month's release of preliminary data.  The number of payroll jobs in the Stockton area for December 2017 is 7,800 more than previously reported (an increase from 232,400 to 240,200).  Of those 7,800 newly reported jobs, a full 6,000 of them are in the transportation and warehousing sector.  Wow!

Perhaps the most amazing tidbit in this data is that we believe that the Stockton is the first metro area in California where the number of transportation and warehousing jobs exceeds the number of retail jobs.  Is this a harbinger of the future for other areas?  [We haven't checked everyplace, but there are 3 retail jobs for every trans/warehousing job statewide, and even 1.5 retail jobs for every trans/warehouse job in the Inland Empire which is the other area in California seeing explosive fulfillment center job growth.]

Obviously, this change doesn't mean that Stockton residents are the biggest e-commerce shoppers in the country - these jobs are primarily serving the Bay area.  It is a sign about how the Northern California Mega-region is increasingly interconnected. 

If this shift to the e-commerce economy makes you a bit uneasy, you might want to read the previous post about a study from the Progressive Policy Institute.  It is disruptive change for sure, but the economic effects may be different than you think.

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