Trucking industry suffers another month of job losses

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, June 03, 2016

Transportation jobs experienced its fourth monthly loss in May, including the third decrease in trucking jobs.

The overall transportation sector lost 500 jobs in May, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the beginning of the year, the transportation and warehousing sector has a net loss of 20,000 jobs.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of approximately 2,400 jobs in May after the industry gained 700 in April and lost another 2,400 in March. Year-to-date, the trucking subsector has a net loss of more than 3,000 jobs.

For the second straight month, warehousing and storage subsector experienced the largest increase with 3,000 more jobs, followed by air transportation with an increase of 1,200. “Support activities for transportation” experienced the largest loss with 2,700 jobs eliminated from the economy.

Last year, the trucking industry suffered a loss in only two out of 12 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 $23.03 for May – a 6-cent increase from April. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 9 cents to $20.83. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.59, 5 cents higher 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 down to 6 percent from 7 percent last May. The overall unemployment rate for the country was down 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was down by 178,000 compared with the previous month, to around 1.9 million.

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