Transportation and warehousing companies added 23,100 jobs in December, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday, with the biggest gains at sectors that benefited from the holiday surge in e-commerce sales.
There were 15,100 new courier and messenger jobs in December compared to the month before, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 5,300 more trucking jobs, and 3,200 additional warehouse and storage jobs.
The additions were in line with the increasing share that online shopping is taking in holiday retail sales. Analysts say foot traffic in physical stores fell in November and December while e-commerce sales grew an estimated 13%.
The increase comes as U.S. employers overall added 292,000 jobs in December, closing out the second-best year for job creation since 1999. This strong growth comes as the global economy has stumbled. The bulk of new jobs in the U.S. are in health care, retail and professional services, which are more shielded from the global economy, analysts say.
U.S. manufacturers added 8,000 jobs in December. But the sector, much of which relies on export demand, added just 35,000 jobs over the course of 2015, down from 200,000 a year earlier.
“While the rest of the economy added more than 2.5 million jobs in 2015, manufacturing hiring was virtually flat,” Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing industry group, said in a statement. He added that “China’s currency devaluing, and its industrial overcapacity” are responsible for lackluster growth in the sector, and that it would continue to be weak for “months to come.”