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Trucking jobs surge to record high

Dec. 2, 2016
Second-half surge overcomes early 2016 swoon

The trucking jobs recovery that began in July is even stronger than previously reported, according to the revised U.S. Dept. of Labor update issued Friday. Turns out, the October total wasn’t 3,000 jobs gained, it was 6,800. And while that might make November’s gain of 1,100 jobs seem small by comparison, the latest increase was enough to lift the total to an all-time high. For-hire trucking has now seen five straight months of improvement after the industry lost jobs in the first half of the year.

The November gain puts the for-hire trucking total at 1.47 million, that’s 236,800 (19.2%) more trucking jobs than were reported in March 2010, the low point in the economic downturn, according to the latest government figures. The new total is 9,700 more jobs than in November 2015, and trucking has now gained 4,400 jobs since posting the previous record total in January.

This comes as the overall U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, considered by economists to be a solid gain but not impressive, given the overall decline in the labor force and a drop in hourly earnings. Still, the national unemployment rate slipped to 4.6%, the lowest level since August 2007.

Collectively, transportation and warehousing gained 8,900 jobs for the month as parcel service companies added couriers and messengers for the holiday rush (+5,700 jobs) along with warehousing and storage jobs (+3,300).

In the broader economy, employment in professional and business services rose by 63,000 in November and has risen by 571,000 over the year. Of note for trucking, construction hiring continued its recent upward trend, (+19,000), with a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Over the past 3 months, construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month, according to the report.

About the Author

Kevin Jones 1 | Editor

Kevin Jones has an odd fascination with the supply chain. As editor of American Trucker, he focuses on the critical role owner-ops and small fleets play in the economy, locally and globally. And he likes big trucks.

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