Trucking employment gains again, up 3,300 jobs in March

| April 04, 2014

The for-hire trucking industry added 3,300 payroll jobs in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the monthly employment report released April 4 by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. economy as a whole added 192,000 non-farm jobs in March, BLS reports, though national unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. January’s rate of 6.6 percent was the lowest in five years.

Economists had predicted job gains to be about 195,000.

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Rates skyrocket in March as flatbed, van set records

Per-mile spot market rates in all three segments — flatbed, reefer, van — soared upward in March, according to data released April 1 by loadboard Internet Truckstop. Flatbed and dry van rates hit all-time highs in the time Internet Truckstop has been keeping records, since 2005.

Still, private-sector payrolls have surpassed the December 2007 level, at the start of the recession. Additionally, job totals for the first two months of the year were revised upward by 37,000.

For-hire trucking totaled 1.3934 million payroll jobs in March, up 24,500 jobs (1.8 percent) from March 2013 and up 159,400 jobs (12.9 percent) from March 2010, the low point in the downturn. However, trucking employment remains 60,000 jobs (4.3 percent) below January 2007′s peak.

Employment also rose in construction (19,000 jobs), retail trade (21,300 jobs), professional and business services (57,000), education and health services (34,000) and leisure and hospitality (29,000).

Hiring in the government sector was flat, while manufacturing lost 1,000 jobs.

 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.