The for-hire trucking industry added 5,100 new payroll employees in December — the most in one month since March, according to preliminary numbers released Friday, Jan. 6, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The gain comes on top of small upward adjustments for October and November.
Compared with December 2010, trucking employment is up by 40,100 jobs, or 3.2 percent. Payroll employment is up by 68,800 jobs, or 5.6 percent, since the bottom of trucking employment in March 2010. The number of trucking jobs — just under 1.3 million — remains 157,200 jobs, or 10.8 percent, below peak employment in January 2007.
The BLS numbers for trucking reflect all payroll employment in for-hire trucking, but they don’t include trucking-related jobs in other industries, such as a truck driver for a private fleet. Nor do the numbers reflect the total amount of hiring since they only include new jobs, not replacements for existing positions.
The overall category of transportation and warehousing added more than 50,000 jobs — primarily due to the 42,200 jobs added by “couriers and messengers.” That’s normal for December as UPS and FedEx hire thousands of temporary workers to handle holiday peak deliveries.
The entire U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December — a large chunk being those seasonal jobs at UPS and FedEx. The unemployment rate dropped 1 point to 8.5 percent.