Department of Labor: Trucking industry lost jobs in February

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 3/7/2016

Jobs in the transportation industry started the year with a significant loss, and the situation did not improve much in February with another net loss. That includes the trucking subsector, which experienced a gain during January’s large job decline within the transportation industry.

The overall transportation sector lost more than 5,000 jobs in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both January and February this year have experienced job losses.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of approximately 600 jobs after the industry gained more than 1,000 in January and more than 5,000 in December. February marks the largest job loss in the trucking subsector since this past September when trucking lost 4,000 jobs.

Warehousing and Storage jobs had the largest increase with more than 2,000 jobs added to the economy. The Couriers and Messengers subsector was the largest contributor to the net transport industry net loss with 4,000 jobs eliminated.

Last year, the trucking industry suffered a loss in only two months. Nearly 7,000 trucking jobs were eliminated last March and 4,000 eliminated in September. December’s increase of more than 23,000 jobs was the largest in 2015.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $23.20 for February, a 6-cent increase from January. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased a penny to $21.00. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.35, 3 cents lower from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.2 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 6.6 percent from 7.7 percent last February. The overall unemployment rate for the country was unchanged at 4.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was also unchanged compared with the previous month at around 2.2 million, where it has remained since last June. However, that number has decreased by 512,000 in the past 12 months.

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