For-hire trucking jobs total slips in March Thinkstock

For-hire trucking jobs total slips in March

Overall US employment solid, paced by construction hiring

For-hire trucking employment fell in March, the second monthly decline since January’s all-time high.

The loss of 2,400 jobs for the month the follows a decline of 900 jobs in February. Still, the total is 16,200 jobs more than March last year.

This comes as the U.S. economy posted better than expected employment gains, up 215,000, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 4.9 to 5.0%, still running at the low level last recorded in 2008. (The benchmark set by economists for full employment is 5%.)

The March decline puts the for-hire trucking total at 1.4462 million, 8,900 more jobs than the pre-recession high from January 2007. And there were 229,100 (18.6%) more trucking jobs in March than were reported in March 2010, the low point in the economic downturn.

Collectively the transportation and warehousing sector lost 2,500 jobs in March, as job losses in trucking and rail (-2,800) offset the employment gain in transit (3,400).

The gains in broader economy were led by retail trade (+48,000 jobs), construction (+37,000), and health care (+37,000).

On the losing side, manufacturing took the biggest hit in March, down 29,000, with most of the job losses coming in durable goods industries (-24,000), according to the monthly report. Mining employment continued to decline in March (-12,000) with losses concentrated in support activities for mining (-10,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in mining has decreased by 185,000.

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