Department of Labor: Trucking loses 2,400 jobs in March

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 4/4/2016

Transportation jobs suffered its third monthly loss in 2016, including the second consecutive monthly job loss in the trucking subsector.

The overall transportation sector lost more than 2,000 jobs in March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both January and February this year have experienced job losses.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of approximately 2,400 jobs in March after the industry lost 600 in February and gained more than 1,000 in January. March marks the largest job loss in the trucking subsector since this past September when trucking lost 4,000 jobs.

Trucking jobs had the second-largest decrease with 2,400 jobs eliminated from to the economy, only behind rail transport with a loss of 2,800 jobs. Truck and rail job losses offset a large gain from the transit and ground passenger transport subsector, which experienced an increase of more than 3,000.

Last year, the trucking industry suffered a loss in only two out of 12 months. Nearly 7,000 trucking jobs were eliminated last March and 4,000 eliminated in September. December’s increase of more than 23,000 jobs was the largest in 2015.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $23.06 for March, a 2-cent decrease from February. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased a penny to $20.94. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.43, 7 cents higher from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.3 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 6.2 percent from 8.1 percent last March. The overall unemployment rate for the country was mostly unchanged at 5 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was also unchanged compared with the previous month at around 2.2 million, where it has remained since last June. However, that number has decreased by 334,000 in the past 12 months.

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