The number of jobs in the for-hire trucking industry fell by 6,800 in March, according to the monthly report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. That’s the biggest drop in two years, and only the second decline since March 2013, which saw a loss of 10,400 jobs. Of note, that big drop two years ago was followed by a boost of 13,800 jobs in April 2013.
This comes as the broader economy added 126,000 jobs and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5%. That jobs increase, however, was substantially lower than in recent months—and much less than many economists had forecast.
At 1.4388 million, the March jobs total is 14,600 jobs shy of the all-time high for trucking, set in January 2007. The industry has recovered 205,600 jobs since the low point in the recession, March 2010. Compared to March last year, for-hire trucking has added 39,300 jobs.
Collectively, the transportation and warehousing sector added 9,200 jobs in March. Other sectors posting gains included retail (+25,900), professional and business services (+40,000), and health care (+22,300).
The number of jobs in the mining fell by 11,000, largely, while manufacturing and construction jobs were down slightly.