Trucking suffers largest monthly job loss since April 2018
September 6, 2019
Jobs in the transportation sector decreased slightly, largely because of a massive loss in the trucking subsector and little movement elsewhere in the sector.
The transport sector lost 500 jobs, with losses in four of the 10 subsectors, including trucking. Six subsectors experiences losses or gains of 1,000 jobs or fewer, signaling a weak month in employment for transportation.
The truck transportation subsector experienced a loss of 4,500 jobs in August after the industry gained 300 jobs in July and 2,200 in June. August’s decrease is the largest monthly employment decline in trucking since April 2018. Numbers for August and July are preliminary.
Trucking experienced the largest decrease, followed by “support activities for transportation,” with 1,800 fewer jobs and rail transport at 600. The largest increase in August was among couriers and messengers, with nearly 4,000 more jobs.
Year-to-date, trucking has a net increase of 5,100 jobs. This time last year, trucking jobs were up nearly 28,000 for the year. Transport jobs are at a net increase of 51,800.
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 $25.12 for August – up 12 cents from July. Earnings were up 72 cents from August 2018.
Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees also increased, with wages 3 cents higher to $22.62 from the previous month and up 72 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $28.11, an 11-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 to 5.7 compared with July’s rate of 5%. This time last year, the unemployment rate in the transport sector was lower at 5.2%. Overall unemployment remained at 3.7%. The number of long-term unemployed in August also remained unchanged at 1.2 million, accounting for 20.6% of the unemployed.