Inland Empire Leads for E-Commerce Employment Growth

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(This article was written by Kelsi Maree Borland of Globest.com, and published on October 1, 2018)

The Inland Empire is the leading market in the country for transportation and warehouse employment. According to a new report from CBRE, the Inland Empire has seen an increase in 41,300 transportation and warehouse jobs since 2013, booting employment in the industry by 48.6%. Ecommerce has driven the job growth in the Inland Empire and across the country. Chicago and the Dallas/Ft. Worth follow the Greater Los Angeles area as the top markets for transportation and warehouse employment growth, together accounting for 12% of the total employment in the country.

“There is tremendous opportunity from a strong industry base. The Inland Empire has had more than 100 million square feet of industrial product built and absorbed over the last 5 years alone and is still growing. This has led to terrific job opportunities in the T&W sector with various types of jobs and positions,” Kurt Strasmann, executive managing director at CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com. “Secondly, with labor demand come increased wages for employees, which is attracting skilled labor. Third, as e-commerce and related uses continue to expand, job advancement opportunities within firms are becoming increasingly available.”

Geography also plays a factor in the job growth. Job opportunities in the Inland Empire mean residents of the market—which is significantly more affordable than the coastal markets—won’t have to commute to job centers in L.A. “If you live in the Inland Empire, the ability to work here and eliminate or reduce the commute into L.A. or Orange County is a huge life style benefit,” says Strasmann. “In some cases this will cut out up to 2 hours each way drive time. This combination has allowed the T&W sector in the Inland Empire to recruit from other industries and thrive.”

Strasmann says that the job growth in this sector has tremendous benefits, including business growth, tax revenues, depth and diversity of employment opportunities, population growth, housing expansion. “Job creation has been providing growth across the board, which has been leading to expansion in other sectors as well, including retail, housing, construction and financial services. It’s a huge win for the region in all aspects,” he adds.

In general, the Los Angeles region is leading the market in transportation and warehouse job growth, with the Inland Empire leading in the region. The job growth in Los Angeles and Orange County has also been significant, but the housing affordability issues have made job growth in the coastal submarkets more challenging. “The biggest difference centers around housing cost. The Inland Empire is superior to Orange County and L.A. in its affordability,” says Strasmann. “It provides employees with a huge benefit in life style as well as net dollars in people’s pockets after taking into consideration housing costs. Employment growth has provided Inland Empire residents with the opportunity to choose between commuting for extra dollars or being employed closer to home for a little less money. In the past, it was common knowledge that skilled positions, meaning higher-paying jobs, were only to be found in L.A. and the OC, but now as the Inland Empire matures, better jobs are migrating here as well.”

Looking 18 months into the future, Stasmann expects similar job growth as the ecommerce sector continues to grow. “We do not see a letdown in the current recovery in the Inland Empire,” he says. “The area is well positioned on multiple fronts, including job growth and affordable housing relative to the OC and L.A. regions. The net result supports a very positive outlook.”