Trucking jobs were up in October, still down year-to-date

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 11/4/2016

Transportation jobs in October rebounded from a hit in September, adding 7,500 jobs to the economy, including 3,000 trucking jobs.

The overall transportation sector gained 7,500 jobs in October, 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 more than 4,000 jobs, down from a net loss of nearly 12,000 in September. In January, transportation lost more than 20,000 jobs, the largest decrease since January 2011 when 38,000 jobs were eliminated from the economy.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of approximately 3,000 jobs in October after the industry lost 3,600 in September and gained 3,400 in August. Year-to-date, the trucking subsector has a net loss of 5,000 jobs.

The warehousing and storage subsector experienced the largest increase with 3,300 jobs added to the economy, followed by trucking. “Support activities for transportation” experienced the largest loss with 1,200 fewer jobs, trailed by water transport with 1,100 jobs lost.

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. May’s increase of nearly 9,000 jobs was the largest in 2015 for the trucking subsector.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $23.55 for October – a 6-cent increase from September. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 11 cents to $21.10. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $25.92, 10 cents higher from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.8 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 5.8 percent from 6.7 percent last October, and just slightly down from 5.9 percent in September. The overall unemployment rate for the country was down to 4.9 percent after hovering at 5 percent for four consecutive months. Over the past five years, the unemployment rate each month has either declined or gone relatively unchanged. The number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 2 million, accounting for approximately one-quarter of the unemployed.

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