For-hire trucking companies added 700 payroll jobs in September on a seasonally adjusted basis as the overall U.S. economy added 114,000 nonfarm jobs, according to the latest estimates released Oct. 5 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the national unemployment rate in September was 7.8 percent — the lowest level since December 2008, according to BLS figures.
Almost as notable as the September gains were BLS revisions to August figures. For trucking companies, the August figures were lowered by 400 from last month’s initial estimate. But for the overall economy, the updated August figures are 86,000 higher than what the agency originally reported, and the 114,000 increase is on top of that higher figure.
The 700 jobs added in for-hire trucking represents the weakest month-to-month growth since the 1,200-job decrease in March. Payroll employment in trucking in September totaled nearly 1.352 million jobs — up just 0.05 percent from August, but up 3.6 percent from September 2011. Trucking employment is up by 117,600 jobs, or 9.5 percent, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 101,600 jobs, or 7.0 percent, below the peak in January 2007. The number of trucking jobs is up 2.6 percent since the beginning of the year.
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 reflect the number of employees paid during a specified payroll period during the month. Due to high turnover rates, the BLS estimates may overstate the number of job positions due to the methodology used in the agency’s Current Employment Survey.