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Trucking lost 2,400 jobs in May, Labor Dept. reports

June 3, 2016
For-hire trucking employment fell again in May, and has slipped in three of the four months since opening the year with an all-time high.

For-hire trucking employment fell again in May, and has slipped in three of the four months since opening the year with an all-time high.

The loss of 2,400 jobs last month follows the slight uptick of 300 jobs from March to April. Trucking has lost 5,200 jobs since the January. Still, the total is 4,600 more jobs than in May last year.

This comes as the overall U.S. economy posted significantly fewer jobs than expected, adding just 38,000, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The national unemployment rate, however, fell to 4.7%, still running at the low level last recorded in 2008. However, the labor participation rate, or the number of Americans who want to work, fell to a level last recorded four decades ago.

The May decline puts the for-hire trucking total at 1.4462 million, 7,200 more jobs than the pre-recession high from January 2007. And there were 212,200 (17.2%) more trucking jobs in May than were reported in March 2010, the low point in the economic downturn.

Collectively the transportation and warehousing sector lost  just 500 jobs in May, as job losses in trucking and transportation support activities (-2,700) were offset by the employment gains in warehousing and storage (3,000) and air transportation (1,200).

The gains in broader economy were led by health care (+46,000 jobs) in May.

On the losing side, for manufacturing, employment in durable goods declined by 18,000 in May, with job losses of 7,000 in machinery and 3,000 in furniture and related products.

Mining employment continued to decline (-10,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014, mining has lost 207,000 jobs. Support activities for mining accounted for three-fourths of the jobs lost during this period, including 6,000 in May.

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