For the 13th consecutive month, transportation jobs overall scored gains in February. The transport sector netted more than 15,000 jobs to the economy. Trucking jobs also went up after modest gains in January.
The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 5,600 jobs in February after the industry gained 2,200 in January and lost 600 in December. This marks the highest monthly employment increase since May 2015, when nearly more than 8,000 trucking jobs were added. Numbers are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months.
Trucking experienced the largest increase followed by transit/ground passenger transportation and “support activities for transportation” at a little more than 3,000 additional jobs each. Rail transportation experienced the only loss within the transportation sector, with 400 fewer jobs in the marketplace in February.
In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 74,000 jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with nearly 22,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 10,400 jobs in 2017.
Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.18 for February – a 2-cent decrease from January and up 59 cents from February 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees experienced an increase of five cents to $21.67 from the previous month and a 67-cent increase year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.75, a four-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.6 percent, or 68 cents.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations decreased to 6.1 percent, compared with 7.3 percent in February 2017, and down from 6.8 percent in January. The overall unemployment rate remained stagnant at 4.1 percent for the fifth consecutive month. The number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 1.4 million, accounting for nearly 21 percent of the unemployed.
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