U.S. Jobs Market Grabbed by the Blue Collar

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During the pandemic, a large chasm has emerged in the fortunes of those able to work from home and those who cannot. That pandemic trend is beginning to level out.

Employment in residential construction, package delivery, and warehousing is now in excess of pre-pandemic levels — signaling a blue collar rebound after a year of pandemic uncertainty.

Online Shopping Boom Needs a Lot of Hands

Insatiable appetite for delivery has created new jobs in the supply chain that are expected to continue in a post-pandemic world.

  • Consumers now do about 59% of their shopping online, up from 39% pre pandemic. That is expected to remain at 56% post pandemic.

Meanwhile, the boom underway in construction and housing can be attributed in large part to the Federal Reserve, which cut short-term interest rates to almost zero last year and plans to keep rates low for the foreseeable future.

Manufacturing Caveat: The good news doesn’t extend to manufacturing, where payrolls are still 4.5% below where they were a year ago. Still, that figure is an improvement from last april when payrolls were down 11% during the pandemic’s first wave.