Trucking jobs down for first time in nearly one year

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 4/5/2019

Net transportation jobs are back up after February experienced the largest loss in more than two years.

The transport sector gained more than 7,000 jobs, as seven of 10 subsectors experienced increases. Trucking jobs, on the other hand, did not have a good March.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a loss of more than 1,000 jobs in March after the industry gained a modest 100 jobs in February and gained more than 4,000 in January. March marks the first monthly decrease since last April, when trucking lost 5,000 jobs. Numbers for March and February are preliminary.

Transit/ground passenger transport experienced the largest increase with nearly 3,000 more jobs, followed closely by “support activities for transport” with an additional 2,600 jobs. Trucking had the largest decrease in the sector. The only other subsectors to experience a decrease were rail, with 800 fewer jobs, and scenic/sightseeing transport, with a decrease of 100 jobs.

Three months into 2019, trucking jobs are at a net increase of 3,300 for the year. Transport jobs are at a net increase of 33,800.

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 were $24.67 for March – up 8 cents from February. Earnings were up 39 cents from March 2018. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up 7 cents to $22.33 from the previous month and up 63 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.70, a 4-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.2%.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations decreased to 4.9%, compared with 5.1% in February. This time last year, the unemployment rate in the transport sector was 5.2%. Overall unemployment remained stagnant at 3.8%. The number of long-term unemployed was mostly unchanged at 1.3 million, accounting for 21.1% of the unemployed.



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