Despite the first monthly job loss across all industries in seven years because of devastating hurricanes, transportation jobs overall scored an eighth consecutive month of job gains in September. The transport sector netted 21,800 jobs to the economy. Trucking jobs were down a smidge after a significant decrease in August.
So far, the trucking subsector for 2017 has a net gain of 11,500 jobs. The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of 100 jobs in September after the industry lost 1,600 in August and gained 400 in July. September’s decrease was the sixth month of job losses. However, large gains in February and March puts trucking jobs in the black for the year so far. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net loss of 2,500 jobs in 2016.
In 2016, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 19,000 jobs. Last January, transportation lost more than 20,000 jobs, the largest decrease since January 2011, when 38,000 jobs were eliminated from the economy.
Transit/ground passenger transportation experienced the largest increase with 9,400 more jobs, followed by warehousing and storage at 4,800. Pipeline and rail transportation experienced the largest loss, with 400 fewer jobs each, trailed by trucking, with 100 jobs lost. Six of 10 subsectors experienced gains, while scenic/sightseeing transportation remained unchanged from the previous month.
Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.03 for September – a 6-cent increase from August and up 62 cents from September 2016. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees experienced an increase of 8 cents to $21.50 from the previous month and a 47-cent increase year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.55, 12 cents higher from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.9 percent, or 74 cents.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations lowered significantly to 4.5 percent compared with 5.9 percent last September and down from 5.3 percent in August. The overall unemployment rate for the country declined to 4.2 percent from 4.4 percent the previous month. The number of long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged at 1.7 million, accounting for one-quarter of the unemployed.
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