Trucking subsector suffers another month of minor job losses

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/3/2017

Employment numbers in some subsectors are rebounding following devastation caused by hurricanes, but the trucking subsector is not one of them.

Transportation jobs overall scored a ninth consecutive month of job gains in October. The transport sector netted 8,400 jobs to the economy. Trucking jobs were down a pinch after a similar small decrease in September.

So far, the trucking subsector for 2017 has a net gain of 11,400 jobs. The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of 100 jobs in October after the industry lost another 100 in September and 1,500 in August. October’s decrease was the seventh month of job losses. However, large gains in February and March put 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.

Couriers and messengers experienced the largest increase with 5,700 more jobs, followed by air transportation at 3,500. Transit and ground passenger transportation experienced the largest loss, with 2,800 fewer jobs each, trailed by water transportation with 1,800 jobs lost. Five of 10 subsectors experienced gains, significantly outweighing subsectors with relatively minimal losses.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.07 for October – a 2-cent increase from September and up 63 cents from October 2016. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees experienced an increase of 8 cents to $21.61 from the previous month and a 58-cent increase year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.53, a penny lower from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.4 percent, or 63 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations lowered to 5.2 percent compared with 5.8 percent last October but went up from 4.5 percent in September. The overall unemployment rate for the country declined to 4.1 percent from 4.2 percent the previous month. The number of long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged at 1.6 million, accounting for one-quarter of the unemployed.



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