Trucking employment continues to rise; inflation undermines wage increases

July 8, 2022

Tyson Fisher

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More than 4,000 trucking jobs were added to the economy in June, keeping a mostly two-year streak of trucking employment growth alive.

According to the latest data from the federal government, trucking employment grew by 4,300 last month, a modest increase compared to the rest of 2022.

Numbers for April and May have been revised to reflect a net decrease from what was originally reported. Trucking jobs in April fell from 14,900 to 14,000. May’s numbers plummeted from 16,300 to 13,300.

Year-to-date, trucking employment is up by about 50,000 jobs.

trucking employment

Since May 2020, trucking employment has increased every month except one. Nearly 3,000 trucking jobs were lost in March.

Accounting for all modes of transportation, employment went up by 35,500 jobs. Consistent with trucking employment, transport sector numbers are also modest and revised stats dropped.

Across the sector, April employment dropped from 49,000 to 46,200 after revisions. In May, more than 10,000 jobs were cut from the originally reported 58,700 employment increase. For the year, transportation employment is up by nearly 275,000 jobs.

Looking at wages, numbers continue to climb. The average hourly wage of all employees in the transportation and warehousing sector increased by 22 cents to $28.05. For nonsupervisory employees, wages are up by 23 cents to $26.18. Average hourly earnings for all employees across all industries are rising, with a 10-cent increase to $32.08 last month.

Increase in wages are not being felt with high inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index has jumped by nearly 9%. The 1% monthly increase in May 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 0.6% in May.

The unemployment situation is also improving. Compared to last June, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations fell from 8.6% to 5.5%. However, the unemployment rate is up from 5% in May. Across all industries, the unemployment rate remains stagnant at 3.6% for the fourth consecutive month. The rate was 3.5% In February 2020, just before the pandemic disrupted economies. LL

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Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.