Trucking adds 3,000 jobs to the economy in April

May 5, 2023

Tyson Fisher


Trucking jobs experienced an increase in April, while the transportation sector as a whole also saw an increase in jobs.

According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3,000 trucking jobs were added to the economy in April.

David Spencer, vice president of market intelligence at Arrive Logistics, surmises that some of April’s job growth could be attributed to owner-operators moving to company driver jobs.

“Continued job growth in the trucking sector has continued to defy expectations given the declining rate environment,” Spencer said. “The growth is likely driven by a combination of owner-operator capacity having stuck it out longer than expected on their own and now finally making the shift to company jobs, as well as seeing growth to support areas seeing growing truckload demand, such as non-single family housing construction and oil and gas drilling.”

Revised numbers show an increase of more than 3,000 trucking jobs in March and a decrease of more than 5,000 jobs in February.

Year to date, trucking jobs are up by more than 5,000.

Last year, trucking jobs went up by nearly 61,000.

trucking jobs chart
Accounting for all transportation sector jobs, employment is up by nearly 11,000 jobs. Since the pandemic, transportation sector jobs have only dropped three times: in April 2021 (minus 12,900 jobs), in November 2022 (minus 37,100) and again in February (minus 20,500).

Warehousing/storage experienced the largest monthly increase (4,000 jobs), followed by support activities for transportation (3,900) and air transport (3,300). Only one subsector experienced a decrease. Transit/ground passenger transportation dropped significantly with more than 8,000 fewer jobs in the subsector.

Based on revised numbers, employment in the transportation sector rose by nearly 14,000 in March and decreased by nearly 18,000 in February.

Year to date, transportation employment is up by more than 38,000 jobs. For 2022 overall, transportation employment increased by nearly 261,000 jobs.

Wages increased modestly in April. Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees in the transportation and warehousing sector increased by 24 cents to $28.80. Accounting for only production and nonsupervisory employees, average weekly earnings increased from $1,026.27 to $1,030.24.

Across all industries, more than 250,000 jobs were added to the economy. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 3.4%. Compared to the previous year, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations dropped from 6.1% to 5.1%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index has jumped by 5% over the past 12 months. The 0.1% monthly increase in March was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4%, up 5.6% over the year. LL