An Amazon.com Inc. distribution center in Schertz, Texas. Amazon has been adding warehouse workers rapidly as it scales up its distribution network.
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An Amazon.com Inc. distribution center in Schertz, Texas. Amazon has been adding warehouse workers rapidly as it scales up its distribution network.


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Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

Logistics companies added thousands of jobs again in November as warehousing and courier companies ramped up hiring to cope with growing demand for e-commerce fulfillment, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.

Courier and messenger companies, including the package carriers that deliver online orders, increased their payrolls by 5,700 jobs last month, expanding employment in the industry by some 26,300 jobs from a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Labor jobs report released Friday.

Warehousing operators, which are adding capacity as retailers push more inventories into online-focused distribution channels, added 3,100 jobs from October to November, and have boosted payrolls by 47,400 jobs over the past 12 months.

Logistics companies, which are in the midst of their busiest season, are expected to see continuing growth as online shopping gains a bigger share of the retail sales market. Logistics executives have said they keep many of the employees they’ve hired for peak holiday seasons in recent years, as e-commerce sales steadily increase as a portion of total U.S. retail.

Overall hiring at transportation and logistics companies grew by 8,900 jobs last month, with growth at companies touching e-commerce offsetting declining payrolls at industrial and passenger operators. The gain followed the addition of 12,200 transport and logistics jobs in October, the Labor Department said in a boost of the earlier estimate for the month.

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Trucking companies added 1,100 jobs in November, in the fifth consecutive month of growth, according to adjusted numbers. The sector has added 9,700 jobs over the 12 months despite tepid demand growth for truck transport for most of 2016. .

The rest of the logistics industry was down or relatively flat. Air transportation firms cut 1,000 jobs, and numbers for the segment from the previous month were adjusted down to show three consecutive months of job cuts. Rail companies cut 500 jobs and are down 18,500 in the past year as they adjust to steep declines in coal and energy shipments.

Growth patterns in the logistics sector reflect a broader shift in the U.S. toward the service industries. Overall U.S. payrolls rose by 178,000 in November, with the strongest gains in professional and business services, as well as health care.

But manufacturers, which generate much of the country’s shipping demand, cut 4,000 jobs last month for the fourth consecutive month of declines and a total of 54,000 fewer jobs in the past year. The cuts came despite a report from the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday showed activity at U.S. factories, which have been hit by the strong dollar and other factors, expanded faster in November than any month in over a year.

Write to Loretta Chao at loretta.chao@wsj.com