Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love, is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s also the sixth most-populous city in the United States. The population within the city limits is 1,567,872, although there are more than six million residents in the larger Philadelphia metropolitan area, which is the seventh largest metro area in the U.S. (as of 2016 Census data). The city is both the economic and cultural anchor of the Delaware Valley, a region in the Northeastern United States. We gathered some data on the local job market in Philadelphia, metro statistics on job growth and employment, and took a deep-dive into several data sources to get a glimpse into the current job market in Philadelphia, PA for warehouse professionals.
Warehouse Jobs: Roles and Responsibilities
Warehouse workers handle a variety of responsibilities, and there are several distinct roles that may exist within a warehouse operation, including:
- Warehouse or Operations Manager
- Distribution Manager
- Pickers and Packers
- Dock Supervisors
- Forklift Operators
- Material Handlers
- Equipment Handlers
- Shipping and Receiving
- Accounts Receivable and Payable
- Administrative Support
In general, each of these roles aids in some way in facilitating the flow of goods through the warehouse. Warehouse workers receive incoming goods from vendors and suppliers, customers, distribution centers, and other warehouses, ensure that those products are stocked appropriately on warehouse shelves, and pick stock to prepare outgoing shipments. It sounds like a simple process, yet there’s a substantial level of organization and coordination that happens within a warehouse to ensure that goods flow smoothly and efficiently through the warehouse. Each worker in a warehouse plays an important role.
Philadelphia, PA Job Market
The Philadelphia area suffered from job loss during the recession and has taken longer than some areas to recover; however, the job outlook in Philadelphia is steadily improving, according to U.S. News. While the unemployment rate in Philadelphia is slightly higher than the national average, the median annual salary is a bit higher than the national median salary. There are several important employment sectors in Philadelphia, including:
- Education and Health Services
- Finance and Insurance
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
The average annual salary in Philadelphia is $52,420, while the national median annual salary is $48,320. The cost of living is only slightly higher than the national average and lower compared to other major metros like New York City and Washington, D.C., making the area an attractive option for families and career-minded individuals. With housing costs remaining relatively stable over the past few years, even as national housing prices are on the rise, Philadelphia is one of the most affordable metro areas. Philadelphia is ranked 77th among U.S. News’ Best Places to Live.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total non-farm employment in the Philadelphia metro area is up 1.6%, year-over-year, from May 2016 to May 2017. During the same period, the national job count rose 1.5%. Philadelphia has not experienced a year-over-year decline in employment in more than seven years.
Image via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Education and Health Services supersector experienced the most growth during the May 2016 – May 2017 period, adding 20,400 jobs, marking a 3.3% growth exceeding the national growth rate (2.3%). Other supersectors experiencing growth during the same period include:
- Professional and Business Services – 9,500 jobs added
- Leisure and Hospitality – 4,600 jobs added
- Mining, Logging, and Construction – 3,400 jobs added
The only supersector to experience job loss during the May 2016 to May 2017 period was manufacturing, which lost 2,000 jobs during that time.
We compiled the current state of the warehouse job market in Philadelphia, PA using data from a variety of area sources. In total, we found 8,513 total warehouse job results in the Philadelphia, PA area. We also gathered some research on available jobs in Philadelphia with more specific job titles across the same eight data sources for the area:
- Warehouse Manager: 11,377 results
- Warehouse Specialist: 3,721 results
- Warehouse Worker: 5,811 results
- Warehouse Supervisor: 8,818 results
- Warehouse Associate: 12,501 results
- Warehouse Assistant: 4,185 results
Philadelphia, PA lands at #129 on WalletHub’s Best Cities for Jobs in 2017. A June 2017 report from Philly.com offers insight into Philadelphia’s booming industrial sector, noting that the warehouse and distribution market is growing rapidly in order to accommodate increased demands in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, including the Lehigh Valley and parts of central Pennsylvania to the Maryland border.
From the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, the commercial CBRE Inc. increased the amount of warehouse square footage leased by 83% – and that’s just one firm – with an increase from 39.4 million square feet to 72.2 million square feet in a single year’s time. Other firms report similar gains, indicating that the warehouse and distribution industry in the larger region is on the upswing.
To gain some additional insight into the overall health of the warehouse industry in Philadelphia, we took a look at two sources to find out how many industrial properties and warehouse facilities are available for sale or lease in the area. At LoopNet.com, a website focused on commercial real estate sale and lease, there are 58 warehouses in Philadelphia listed for sale at the time of this writing. We also looked at CityFeet.com, a similar commercial real estate search platform, where we found 63 industrial spaces available for lease at the time of this writing, and 56 industrial properties listed for sale.
Top Warehouse Employers in Philadelphia, PA
There are a multitude of warehouse employers in the Philadelphia, PA region. Here’s a look at a few of the major players and prominent local companies that employ warehouse professionals.
eHobbyTools.com is an e-commerce retailer that sells products from a variety of manufacturers. The company hires warehouse workers for loading and unloading trucks, preparing shipments, and other duties.
A full-service transportation and logistics company, Pilot Freight Services has more than 75 locations in North America and a worldwide network. Opportunities for warehouse professionals include operations managers, general warehouse workers, and more.
Metals USA is a national network of metal service centers that provide quality processed carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, red metals, and manufactured metal components, and expert engineering services. The company hires warehouse workers in the Philadelphia area as well as in other locations.
Sherwood Steel has been providing coil, sheet metal, and sheet metal accessory needs since 1997 to the greater Greater Philadelphia area, including South Jersey and Delaware. Sherwood Steel hires general warehouse workers, truck operators, and more.
Honor Foods is a retail distributor that was established in the 1940s. The company represents more than 200 manufacturers and serves distributors in the Northeast region. Honor Foods hires general warehouse workers and other professionals in the Philadelphia area.
UNFI has an unmatched distribution network. A natural, organic, and specialty food distributor, the company hires for a variety of roles in warehousing.
Floors USA provides more than 50,000 rugs of all sizes, shapes, colors, and countries of origin since 1977. The company hires general warehouse workers and other warehouse staff in the Philadelphia area.
Since 1982, Goodman Manufacturing has focused on helping homeowners achieve reliable, high-quality and affordable indoor comfort with products designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S.A. Opportunities for warehouse professionals include warehouse coordinators, general warehouse workers, and more.
With Philadelphia, PA being such a booming industrial hub, there are dozens of companies that regularly seek qualified warehouse professionals. This short list represents only a few of the many companies operating in the Philadelphia metro.
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Angela Stringfellow is a writer with 10+ years of experience. She focuses on news, trends, and insights in marketing, business, and technology.