Trucking employment grew by 2,000 jobs in July

August 2, 2019

Tyson Fisher


Jobs in the transportation sector increased just slightly despite massive job losses in the transit/ground passenger transport subsector, with the trucking subsector experiencing its fourth consecutive month of higher employment.

The transport sector gained only 300 jobs, with gains in half of the 10 subsectors, including trucking. A significant increase in courier/messenger jobs helped offset a large decrease in the transit/ground passenger subsector.

The truck transportation subsector experienced a gain of 2,000 jobs in July after the industry gained 3,300 jobs in June and 1,500 in May. June’s increase is the largest since January when trucking jobs jumped by 4,400. Numbers for July and June are preliminary.

Couriers/messengers experienced the largest increase of nearly 7,000 more jobs, followed by warehousing and storage with a gain of 3,200 jobs and trucking. Transit/ground passenger transport employment plummeted by more than 8,000 jobs, the largest decrease in the transport sector.

Year-to-date, trucking has a net increase of 12,400 jobs. Transport jobs are at a net increase of 53,200. This time last year, trucking jobs were up more than 20,000 for the year.

In 2018, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 200,000 jobs, up from 2017’s net increase of more than 185,000 jobs. Compared to the previous month, there was a net increase in jobs in every month in 2018 except December. February accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 28,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 43,800 jobs in 2018, significantly higher than 2017’s net increase of 16,100 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $25.01 for July – up 17 cents from June. Earnings were up 70 cents from July 2018.

Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees also increased, with wages 6 cents higher to $22.59 from the previous month and up 77 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.98, an 8-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.2%.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations increased slightly to 5% compared with June’s rate of 4.9%. This time last year, the unemployment rate in the transport sector was lower at 4.5%. Overall unemployment remained stagnant at 3.7%. The number of long-term unemployed in July decreased significantly to 1.2 million from 1.4 million, accounting for 19.2% of the unemployed.


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.