Couriers and Messengers: NAICS 492

About the Couriers and Messengers subsector

The couriers and messengers subsector is part of the transportation and warehousing sector.

Industries in the Couriers and Messengers subsector provide intercity and/or local delivery of parcels and documents (including express delivery services) without operating under a universal service obligation. These articles can be described as those that may be handled by one person without using special equipment. This allows the collection, pick-up, and delivery operations to be done with limited labor costs and minimal equipment. Sorting and transportation activities, where necessary, are generally mechanized. The restriction to small parcels partly distinguishes these establishments from those in the transportation industries. The complete network of courier services establishments also distinguishes these transportation services from local messenger and delivery establishments in this subsector. This includes the establishments that perform intercity transportation as well as establishments that, under contract to them, perform local pick-up and delivery. Messengers, which usually deliver within a metropolitan or single urban area, may use bicycle, foot, small truck, or van.

North American Industry Classification System

The couriers and messengers subsector consists of these industry groups:

  • Couriers: NAICS 4921
  • Local Messengers and Local Delivery: NAICS 4922

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in couriers and messengers. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment

Data series Back
data
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

673.3 673.8 (p)676.1 (p)678.2

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

555.3 566.1 (p)631.1  

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2016

Couriers and messengers

17,580

Customer service representatives

8,180

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

6,590

First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

12,740

Truck drivers, light or delivery services

189,000

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for couriers and messengers.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in couriers and messengers.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

Data series Back
data
Aug.
2017
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017

Average hourly earnings

$21.30 $21.63 $21.58 (p)$21.68

Average weekly hours

35.9 35.8 35.7 (p)36.1

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
Aug.
2017
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017

Average hourly earnings

$17.83 $18.10 $18.04 (p)$18.29

Average weekly hours

35.9 35.9 35.6 (p)36.0

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2016
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Couriers and messengers

$13.14 $14.49 $27,330 $30,140

Customer service representatives

$17.96 $18.19 $37,360 $37,840

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

$19.45 $20.93 $40,450 $43,540

First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

$31.99 $31.32 $66,530 $65,140

Truck drivers, light or delivery services

$22.41 $23.54 $46,610 $48,960

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in couriers and messengers. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2013 2014 2015 2016

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

29 36 29 30

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2016

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

7.0

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

5.5

Cases involving days away from work

2.8

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

2.7

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction.

Data series Back
data
Sep.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Dec.
2017

Producer price index

(p)211.0 (p)211.4 (p)211.6 (p)211.9

Percent change from previous month

  (p)0.3% (p)0.2% (p)0.1% (p)0.1%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in couriers and messengers. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
3rd quarter
2016
4th quarter
2016
1st quarter
2017
2nd quarter
2017

Number of establishments

Private industry

17,644 17,666 (p)17,469 (p)17,604

Local government

3 3 (p)3 (p)3

State government

       

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2013 2014 2015 2016

Labor productivity index, output per hour

68.276 64.799 62.042 62.469

Percent change from previous year

-7.5 -5.1 -4.3 0.7

Labor index, total labor hours

93.418 98.752 105.058 110.491

Percent change from previous year

5.8 5.7 6.4 5.2

Output index

63.783 63.990 65.181 69.022

Percent change from previous year

-2.1 0.3 1.9 5.9

Unit labor costs index

135.597 143.486 142.728 140.991

Percent change from previous year

-3.3 5.8 -0.5 -1.2

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: January 23, 2018