After six consecutive months of improvement, the number of trucking jobs closed out 2016 with a new record high total, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor report issued Friday.
The December gain of 1,400 jobs (following upward revisions of the October and November numbers) puts the for-hire trucking total at 1.4742 million, that’s 241,000 (19.5%) more trucking jobs than were reported in March 2010, the low point in the economic downturn, according to the latest government figures. The new total is 10,400 more jobs than December 2015, and trucking gained 8,600 jobs in 2016. The pace of growth slowed substantially, however, compared to the 17,400 jobs trucking gained in 2015.
This comes as the overall U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December, below the 175,000 new jobs economists expected. The national unemployment rate ticked upward to 4.7% from November’s 4.6%, which was the lowest rate since August 2007.
Collectively, transportation and warehousing gained 14,700 jobs for the month as parcel service companies added couriers and messengers for the holiday rush (+11,700 jobs) along with support activities jobs (+3,800). For the year, transportation and warehousing added 62,000 jobs, down from a gain of 110,000 jobs in 2015.
In the broader economy, December employment in health care rose by 43,000 and by 30,000 in food services and drinking places. The jobs total also edged up in manufacturing (+17,000), with a gain of 15,000 in the durable goods component. However, since reaching a recent peak in January, manufacturing employment has declined by 63,000, the Labor Dept. reported.
Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and government, changed little in December.