Trucking industry lost nearly 7,000 jobs in March, most in two years

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 4/3/2015

After the biggest net gain in more than a year in February, transportation employment for March continued to grow. Despite overall growth for the industry, truck transportation – a subsector – received a relatively significant loss in jobs.

The transportation sector gained 9,500 jobs in March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The truck transportation subsector received a loss of 6,800 jobs, the first loss since August 2014 (down 800) and the largest since March 2013 (down 6,900). Approximately 2,600 truck transportation jobs were added in February. Trucking jobs lost the most in the transportation and warehousing sector, with most subsectors receiving gains.

“Support activities for transportation” received the largest gain with 8,400 jobs added, followed by transit and ground passenger transportation with an additional 3,500 jobs. Scenic and sightseeing transportation experienced the second largest loss with 500 jobs eliminated from the subsector.

March’s transportation job gain is nearly half of the gain from February, which saw a gain of 18,500, the largest increase in more than a year. January lost nearly 9,000 jobs, the largest loss in almost a year.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.91 for March, up two cents from February. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 4 cents to $20.81. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries increased 7 cents to $24.86. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.1 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 8.1 percent from 9.2 percent last March. The overall unemployment rate for the country made little change at 5.5 percent. The number of long-term unemployed remained relatively stagnant for March, but has decreased by 1.1 million in the past 12 months.

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