The number of for-hire trucking jobs hit an all-time high December, with the total closing out 2015 up 1.3% for the year.
The gain of 5,300 jobs for the month comes as the U.S. economy continues to post significant employment gains, up 292,000, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The national unemployment rate held at an even 5%—the benchmark set by economists for full employment, and lowest rate since 2008—for the third consecutive month.
The December increase puts the trucking total at 1.462 million, 6,800 more jobs than pre-recession high from January 2007. And there were 227,000 (18.4%) more trucking jobs in December than were reported in March 2010, the low point in the downturn.
Compared to December last year, for-hire trucking has added 19,100 jobs. (See the interactive chart below.)
Collectively, the transportation and warehousing sector gained 23,100 jobs in December, with the largest gain coming from the seasonal demand for couriers and messengers (up 15,100 jobs).
The gains in broader economy led by professional and business services (+73,000), construction (+45,000), health care (+39,000), and food services and drinking places (+37,000).
On the losing side, mining employment declined by 8,000 over the month. After adding 41,000 jobs in 2014, mining lost 129,000 jobs in 2015, with most of the loss in support activities for mining, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.