Trucking suffered large job loss in transportation sector in November

December 6, 2019

Tyson Fisher


Jobs in the transportation sector in November increased for the third consecutive month, as only three of 10 subsectors experienced a monthly job loss, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unfortunately, the trucking subsector was one of those with losses.

The transport sector gained 15,500 jobs, with gains or no changes in seven of the 10 subsectors, propped up mostly by large gains in the couriers/messengers and warehousing/storage subsectors.

The trucking subsector experienced a loss of 1,000 jobs in November after gaining 700 jobs in October, which was preceded by three consecutive monthly losses. The last time trucking jobs decreased for three consecutive months was in 2016 during a six-month streak from February through July.

Year-to-date, trucking has a net gain of only 700 jobs. This time last year, trucking jobs were up nearly 41,000 for the year. Transport employment is at a net increase of more than 74,000 jobs.

Numbers for November and October are preliminary.

Warehousing/storage experienced the largest increase with 8,000 more jobs added to the economy, followed by couriers/messengers (5,100) and support activities for transportation (1,800). Trucking suffered the most losses, followed by water transport (700) and rail transport (300).

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. 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.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $25.09 for November – a 9-cent increase from October. Earnings were up 69 cents from November 2018.

Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory jobs increased significantly by 27 cents to $22.84 from the previous month and up 85 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $28.29, a 7-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.1%.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations went up to 4.4% compared with October’s rate of 3.9%. This time last year, the unemployment rate in the transport sector was lower at 4%. Overall unemployment dropped slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5%.


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.