42,000 new messenger & courier jobs

I saw this interesting tidbit in the Bureau of Labor Statistics press release that everybody’s talking about this morning:

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose sharply in December (+50,000). Almost all of the gain occurred in the couriers and messengers industry (+42,000).

I dug a little further into this and found the Department of Labor defines couriers as “a person who provides pick up and delivery of goods for customers, transporting the product in a motorized vehicle,” while “a messenger provides similar services to customers via foot or bike delivery.

I had seen a tiny uptick in bike messenger job listings over this past six months so I was excited that it made a noticeable impact on US labor job stats, but my excitement was misplaced and short lived. Basically, UPS and other delivery services hired 42,000 temps to deliver Christmas packages during this last holiday season. Some of them rode bicycles, but most drove the big brown trucks and rental trucks. Ah well.

Have a great weekend!

Bicycle Blogs

Year end wrap ups from The Urban Country and Bicycle Design.

Bike racks as traffic calming street furniture.

Byron @ Bike Hugger skins his knee, but you should’ve seen the other guy.

Solé Bicycles director brags that his $350 no-frills fixed gear bikes are built at the same factory they make Huffy bikes.

Exergy — a developer of sustainable energy resources — joins Grape Nuts as a USA Cycling sponsor.

Specialized marketing guy Chris writes about Sinyard’s letter to bike shops on Amazon’s Price Check app.

Kent: Why I Don’t Buy Expensive Bicycles.

Bicycle Helmets Recalled Due To Risk of Head Injury, says the headline.

Bike Share in Houston Texas, maybe.

Ride Boldly comments on Mikael’s thoughts on specialized bike wear for the winter commute.

April Streeter writes on electric cars and range anxiety at TreeHugger. And Google receives the first production Ford Focus electric car.


  1. I have noticed UPS using golf carts lately as well. I think they drive the big truck and then use the cart as a satellite vehicle.

  2. The bike messenger industry continues its ongoing contraction, but still seems likely to avoid complete extinction. 

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