Trucking jobs continue to grow in June; wages down in transport sector

July 6, 2018

Tyson Fisher


For the 17th consecutive month, transportation jobs overall scored gains in June. The transport sector netted more than 15,000 jobs to the economy. Trucking jobs experienced a modest increase.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 2,500 jobs in June after the industry gained 3,600 in May and lost 5,900 in April. Adjusted numbers reveal April’s loss to be the largest since October 2009, when 6,200 trucking jobs were lost. Numbers for June and May are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up 17,100 for the year.

Transit and ground passenger transportation experienced the largest increase in the sector with 4,300 more jobs, followed by couriers/messengers at 4,100 additional jobs. Rail transportation and scenic/sightseeing transport experienced the only losses at 800 and 600, respectively.

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 were $24.26 for June – a 5-cent decrease from May, the largest monthly decrease since June 2015, when wages fell by 10 cents. However, earnings were up 41 cents from June 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees remained stagnant at $21.78 from the previous month but are up 46 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.98, a 5-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.7 percent, or 72 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped significantly to 5 percent, compared with 5.7 percent in June 2017, but up slightly from 4.9 percent in May. The overall unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 4 percent, the first increase since August 2017, when unemployment rose 0.1 percentage points to 4.4. The number of long-term unemployed increased by nearly 300,000 to 1.5 million, accounting for 23 percent of the unemployed. The spike in the long-term unemployed is the largest monthly increase since March 2010 when the number rose by more than 400,000 from the previous month.

Tyson Fisher

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.