After hiring about 20,000 new payroll employees in the past three months, trucking companies cut 1,900 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in March, according to the latest numbers released Friday, April 6, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The last time payroll employment dropped month-to-month in for-hire trucking was August 2011. However, due to an upward revision of initial February numbers by 2,900, the agency’s estimate for March is actually 1,000 jobs higher than the figures it originally reported for February.
The entire U.S. economy added 120,000 nonfarm jobs in March, according to the BLS figures. That figure is well below the levels in recent months, but the unemployment rate dipped one point to 8.2%.
Payroll employment in for-hire trucking is up by 41,400 jobs, or 3.4%, from March 2011. Employment is up by 98,300 jobs, or 8%, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 120,900 jobs, or 8.3%, below the peak 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 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.
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