December experienced the largest job gain in more than two years for the transportation industry. The trucking subsector received the most jobs in six months.
The overall transportation sector gained more than 23,000 jobs in December, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is the largest increase since November 2013 when more than 30,000 jobs were added to the economy.
The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of more than 5,000 jobs after the industry gained more than 2,000 in November and 400 in October. December’s increase is the most since last June when 7,400 jobs were added. September was only the second month of 2015 in which the trucking industry lost jobs. Nearly 7,000 truck transportation jobs were lost in March.
Couriers and messengers experienced the largest job gain with more than 15,000 added. “Support activities for transportation” had the largest drop in employment with nearly 2,000 positions exiting the economy.
Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.99 for December, a 2-cent decrease from November. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 6 cents to $20.73. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.24, a penny lower from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.5 percent.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is up to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent last December. The overall unemployment rate for the country stayed stagnant at 5 percent for the third month in a row. The number of long-term unemployed saw little change compared with the previous month at 2.1 million. However, that number has decreased by 687,000 in the past 12 months.
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