Trucking jobs down significantly in February

March 10, 2023

Tyson Fisher


Trucking jobs experienced a significant drop in February, while the transportation sector as a whole also saw a large decline in jobs.

According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8,500 trucking jobs were erased from the economy in February. That marks the largest drop since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in early 2020. Not counting the pandemic, February’s decline in trucking jobs is the largest in nearly 10 years. In March 2013, trucking employment went down by 9,000 jobs.

Revised numbers show an increase of more than 1,000 trucking jobs in January and an increase of nearly 2,000 jobs in December.

Year to date, trucking jobs are down by more than 7,000.

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

Accounting for all transportation sector jobs, employment is down nearly 22,000 jobs. Since the pandemic, transportation sector jobs have only dropped twice: once in April 2021 (minus 12,900 jobs) and again in November 2022 (minus 37,100).

Trucking experienced the largest monthly increase, followed by warehousing/storage (minus 5,500 jobs) and support activities for transportation (minus 4,000). Only three subsectors experienced an increase, albeit a small one: air transportation (1,400), water transportation (800) and pipeline transportation (400).

Based on revised numbers, employment in the transportation sector rose by more than 16,000 in January and increased by only 300 in December.

Year to date, transportation employment is down by more than 5,000 jobs. For 2022 overall, transportation employment increased by nearly 261,000 jobs.

Wages increased in February. Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees in the transportation and warehousing sector increased by 16 cents to $28.55. Accounting for only production and nonsupervisory employees, average weekly earnings decreased from $1,018.78 to $1,018.37.

Across all industries, more than 300,000 jobs were added to the economy. The unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6%. Compared to the previous year, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations dropped from 6.9% to 5.3%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index has jumped by 6.4% over the past 12 months. The 0.5% monthly increase in January 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