For-hire trucking employment rebounded in July—or at least posted a modest gain for the first time in six months.
Trucking gained 1,700 jobs last month, the first increase since hitting an all-time high in January, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Still, trucking has lost 9,800 jobs since that January record total, and there are 5,600 fewer jobs than in July last year.
This comes as the overall U.S. economy posted a second consecutive higher-than-expected jobs total, adding 255,000. The national unemployment rate held at 4.9%, still running at levels last recorded in 2008.
The July gain puts the for-hire trucking total at 1.455.8 million, but that’s 2,400 fewer jobs than the pre-recession high in January 2007. More positively, there were 222,600 (18%) more trucking jobs in July than were reported in March 2010, the low point in the economic downturn.
Collectively the transportation and warehousing jumped by 11,700 jobs in July, posting growth in most sectors, although rail and water transportation employment were both off slightly.
Gains in the broader economy occurred in professional and business services (+70,000), leisure and hospitality (+45,000), health care (+43,000), and government employment (+38,000).
Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, and information, showed little or no change over the month.
Employment in mining continued to trend down over the month (-6,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in this industry has fallen by 220,000, or 26%, according to the report.