Transportation jobs experienced a significant net increase in August after a more modest increase in July. The transport sector gained more than 20,000 jobs, due primarily to substantial increases in the trucking and transit industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 5,700 jobs in August after the industry gained 1,400 in July and 1,500 in June. This marks the largest increase since March when jobs grew by more than 8,000. April’s loss of 5,900 jobs was the largest since October 2009, when 6,200 trucking jobs were lost.
Numbers for August and July are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up nearly 23,000 for the year.
Trucking experienced the largest increase in the sector with nearly 6,000 jobs added, followed by transit/ground passenger transportation with 5,000 more jobs. Rail and pipeline transportation were the only subsectors to experience a decrease in jobs at 300 each.
In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million 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 more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.
Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.45 for August – a 12-cent increase from July. Earnings were up 55 cents from August 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up 7 cents to $21.94 from the previous month and up 54 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.16, a 10-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.9 percent, or 77 cents.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped slightly to 5.2 percent, compared with 5.3 percent in August 2017. However, the rate increased from 4.5 percent in July. The overall unemployment remained stagnant at 3.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed decreased by approximately 100,000 to 1.3 million, accounting for 21.5 percent of the unemployed.
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