Net transportation jobs significantly increased again in September after a large increase in August. The transport sector gained nearly 24,000 jobs due to high increases in the warehousing, transit, couriers and trucking industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of nearly 5,000 jobs in September after the industry gained nearly 6,000 in August and 1,100 in July. Numbers for September and August are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up nearly 28,000 for the year.
Warehousing and storage experienced the largest increase in the sector with more than 8,000 jobs added, followed by transit/ground passenger transportation and couriers/messengers with 5,400 and 5,100 more jobs, respectively. Water transportation suffered the worse monthly job loss with 700 fewer jobs, followed by scenic/sightseeing transportation with 600 fewer jobs.
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 $24.46 for September – a 2-cent increase from August. Earnings were up 46 cents from September 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up 5 cents to $21.99 from the previous month and up 52 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.24, an 8-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.8 percent, or 73 cents.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations rose slightly to 4.6 percent, compared with 4.5 percent in September 2017. However, the rate decreased from 5.2 percent in August. The overall unemployment dropped from 3.9 percent in August to 3.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed increased slightly to 1.4 million, accounting for 23 percent of the unemployed.
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