November trucking jobs up; heading for five-digit increase for the year

December 7, 2018

Tyson Fisher


Net transportation jobs continued to spike in November after a large increase in October and September. The transport sector gained more than 25,000 jobs as a result of high increases in the couriers, warehousing, “support activities” and trucking subsectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 4,500 jobs in November after the industry lost 200 in October but gained nearly 5,000 in September. Numbers for November and October are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up nearly 33,000 for the year.

Couriers/messengers experienced the largest increase in the sector with approximately 10,000 jobs added. That was followed by warehousing/storage with 6,200. There were 5,200 “support activities” jobs added. Trucking was close behind with 4,500 more jobs. Only three subsectors experienced a loss, with air transport losing the most, with 800 fewer jobs.

In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector was $24.45 for November – a penny less than in October. Earnings were up 33 cents from November 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up 18 cents to $22.27 from the previous month and up 71 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.35, a 6-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.1 percent, or 81 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped dramatically to 4 percent, compared with 5.8 percent in November 2017. The rate also decreased significantly from 4.8 percent in October. The overall unemployment remained stagnant at 3.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed declined by about 120,000 to 1.3 million, accounting for 20.8 percent of the unemployed.

Jobs numbers from last month: Trucking jobs on pace for five-digit increase for the year