The number of jobs in the for-hire trucking industry surged by 8,600 in May, according to the monthly report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. That’s the biggest gain since last December and more than makes up for the 7,300 jobs the industry lost in March, the biggest drop in two years.
This comes as the broader economy added 280,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked upward to 5.5%, still running near the lowest rate in seven years.
At 1.4499 million, the May jobs total is just 3,500 jobs shy of the all-time high for trucking, set in January 2007. The industry has recovered 216,700 jobs since the low point in the recession, March 2010. Compared to April last year, for-hire trucking has added 38,400 jobs, and increase of 2.7 percent.
Collectively, the transportation and warehousing sector added 13,100 jobs in May. Other sectors posting gains included professional and business services (+63,000), health care (+46,800) and retail (+31,400).
Construction jobs were up by 17,000 and manufacturing by 7,000, while the number of jobs in mining fell by 17,200.