Trucking jobs down for third consecutive month

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 7/7/2017

Transportation jobs overall scored a fifth consecutive month of job gains in June. The transport sector netted 2,400 jobs to the economy. Trucking jobs were down for the third consecutive month, but are still in the black year-to-date.

So far, the trucking subsector for 2017 has a net gain of 12,300 jobs. The truck transportation subsector experienced a decrease of 1,400 jobs in June after the industry lost 100 in May and another 100 in April. June’s job loss was the highest since September 2016 when 3,600 jobs were lost, not counting January’s job loss of 1,400 as well. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net loss of 2,500 jobs in 2016.

In 2016, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 19,000 jobs. Last January, transportation lost more than 20,000 jobs, the largest decrease since January 2011 when 38,000 jobs were eliminated from the economy.

Couriers and messengers experienced the largest increase with 4,200 more jobs, followed by transit and ground passenger transport at 2,100. Trucking experienced the largest loss with 1,400 fewer jobs, trailed by rail transport, “support activities for transportation” and warehousing and storage all with 800 jobs lost each. Only four of 10 subsectors experienced gains, making couriers/messengers and transit and ground passenger transport largely responsible for the transportation sector’s net increase.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $23.81 for June – a 2-cent increase from May and up 55 cents from June 2016. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees experienced an increase of 7 cents to $21.37 from the previous month, 36 cents year-to-year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.25, 4 cents higher from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.5 percent or 63 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations lowered to 5.7 percent compared with 6.7 percent last June, but slightly up from 5.5 percent in May. The overall unemployment rate for the country slightly increased to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent the previous month. The number of long-term unemployed was unchanged at 1.7 million, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the unemployed.

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