Net transportation jobs increased significantly in January after the first net loss in nearly two years in December. The transport sector gained nearly 27,000 jobs, due largely to a spike in the warehousing and storage subsector.
The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 3,600 jobs in January after the industry gained 3,000 in December and nearly 6,000 in November.
Warehousing and storage experienced the largest increase in the sector with more than 15,000 additional jobs, followed by couriers/messengers at nearly 7,000 and the trucking subsector with the third most. Only two subsectors experienced a loss: transit/ground passenger and “support activities for transportation.” Two subsectors saw no change, and two more added 300 or fewer, indicating little action throughout most of the transportation sector.
In 2018, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 200,000 jobs, up from 2017’s net increase of more than 185,000 jobs. Compared to the previous month, there was a net increase in jobs in every month in 2018 except December. February accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 28,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 43,800 jobs in 2018, significantly higher than 2017’s net increase of 16,100 jobs.
Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector was $24.54 for January – up 3 cents from December. Earnings were up 34 cents from January 2018. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up a nickel to $22.20 from the previous month and up 64 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.56, a 3-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.2 percent, or 85 cents.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped significantly to 5 percent, compared with 6.8 percent in January 2018. However, the rate increased 4.4 percent in December. Overall unemployment increased 0.1 percentage points to 4 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was mostly unchanged at 1.3 million, accounting for 19.3 percent of the unemployed.
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