E-commerce sales rose to more than $211 billion in Q2 of 2020
As e-commerce sales spiked during the pandemic, backroom warehouse labor rose to meet the demand.
Why it matters: With more Americans employed in the warehouse sector, the quality of those jobs — and the effect automation will have on them — will be increasingly important.
By the numbers: E-commerce sales rose to more than $211 billion in the second quarter of 2020 as the pandemic shifted consumers online.
- That represented an all-time high of 16.1% of total retail.
- Though total e-commerce and the percentage of all sales fell slightly by the end of 2020 as the pandemic slowed somewhat, e-commerce sales were still up more than 5,000% from when tracking began at the end of 1999.
Behind the scenes: Employment in warehouses and storage — the backbone of the e-commerce industry — rose to more than 1.4 million workers by last month, more than double the total from a decade ago.