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Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic's biggest job winner is losing steam.

Driving the news: People who deliver packages to businesses and homes — classified as "couriers and messengers" by the Labor Department — saw the industry's biggest monthly job losses in more than 20 years in April.

Why it matters: Few industries were as supercharged as delivery over the past year. If the job drop-off lasts, it could signal a slowdown after the sector added scores of workers through the pandemic-fueled boom.

What they're saying: "Employers in the industry might be thinking that demand for delivery services won't be as strong post-pandemic as they originally thought," says Indeed Hiring Lab's Nick Bunker.

  • "[T]hese services may be in demand, but not as much as was thought a few months ago."

Catch up quick: The pandemic accelerated a delivery obsession that was underway. It was already the fastest-growing job sector in the country.

  • Couriers and messengers continued to add workers at an eye-popping pace, even as jobs in most other sectors dried up when shutdowns hit.

The intrigue: Even with April's disappointing employment report, no other industry is faring as well — at least when it comes to jobs.

  • Courier and messenger employment is 14.3% higher now than before the pandemic hit.
  • The distant second is warehousing and storage (another e-commerce winner), where employment is 5.9% higher than February 2020, per data from Brean Capital.

What to watch: Whether last month's jobs decline was a blip.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
May 10, 2021 - Health

U.S. nursing home employment is way down

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Health care employment in the U.S. remained sluggish last month, with a drop of about 19,500 nursing and residential care facility jobs, according to the latest labor report.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of the lingering economic hardship the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked on health care and, in particular, on the nursing home industry.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
May 10, 2021 - Economy & Business

How to improve America's labor statistics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We have a very weak understanding of the state of the labor market. That's the main lesson from the massive gap between expectations and reality in April's jobs report — and points to the need to beef up the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Why it matters: Unemployment insurance is administered by the states, and the states don't send that data to BLS. If they did, America would have much better visibility of local labor-market trends — and more accurate monthly job reports.

May 10, 2021 - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

COVID-19 scatters tech hubs for young talent

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Young engineers and recent college graduates see Miami, Houston and Philadelphia — not San Francisco, New York or Seattle — as the hot new places to jumpstart a technology or creative economy career.

Why it matters: For some tech CEOs, it's the perfect time to capitalize on being where the new talent wants to go — and also pay lower taxes in the process, which makes Sun Belt cities in Florida and Texas attractive.