Transport jobs see biggest increase in more than a year

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 3/6/2015

After the largest net loss in nearly a year in January, transportation jobs experienced the largest net gain in more than a year industry-wide for February. Truck transportation – a subsector – received moderate growth. The transportation sector gained 18,500 jobs in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Truck transportation subsector jobs received a relatively modest gain of 2,600 jobs, for a total of more than 1.4 million jobs. Approximately 2,400 truck transportation jobs were added in January. Trucking jobs gained the third most in the transportation and warehousing sector, with most subsectors receiving minimal gains. Couriers and messengers received the largest gain with 12,300 jobs added, followed by warehousing and storage with an additional 3,900 jobs. In January, couriers and messengers received the largest loss with 14,100 jobs eliminated from the workforce.

February’s transportation job gain is a significant increase from January, which saw a loss of 8,600. December gained more than 3,000 jobs. Last month marked the largest gain since November 2013 when the transportation sector was injected with 30,500 more jobs. 

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.94 for February, up 10 cents from January. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 3 cents to $20.68. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries increased 3 cents to $24.78. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 7.7 percent from 10.2 percent last February. The overall unemployment rate for the country made little change at 5.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed remained relatively stagnant for February, but has decreased by 1.1 million in the past 12 months.

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