December good for trucking jobs, slow for transportation growth overall

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, January 09, 2015

Transportation jobs experienced slow growth industry-wide for December, but truck transportation had a strong month. The transportation sector gained only 3,100 jobs in December, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Truck transportation subsector jobs received a large gain of 7,300 jobs, for a total of more than 1.4 million jobs. Only 3,000 truck transportation jobs were added in November. Trucking jobs gained the most in the transportation and warehousing sector, with most subsectors receiving losses or minimal gains. Air transportation lost 2,800 jobs, the largest decline in the sector. Couriers and messengers received the second-largest gain with a scant 700 jobs.

December’s transportation job addition is a significant decrease from November, which saw a gain of nearly 17,000. October gained more than 13,000 jobs, whereas September saw sluggish gains at just under 2,000 additions. December has been a slow month for the transportation industry the past two years with a net loss of 600 jobs in both 2013 and 2012.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.92 for December, up 2 cents from November. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.72. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries decreased by 5 cents to $24.57. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 1.7 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 6.1 percent from 8.4 percent last December. The overall unemployment rate for the country dropped to 5.8 percent, a 0.2 percent decrease from the previous month. The number of long-term unemployed remained relatively stagnant for December, but has decreased by 1.1 million in the past 12 months.

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