1,400 trucking jobs added

Trucking companies added 1,400 new employees on a seasonally adjusted basis in November, according to preliminary payroll employment figures released Dec. 3, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In a further sign of recovery, trucking jobs also grew on a year-over-over basis for the second month in row. Until October, trucking employment levels had not been higher than in the same month the previous year since June 2007. Since the beginning of March, trucking companies have added 17,300 jobs, according to the latest estimates.

According to preliminary BLS figures, total employment in trucking in November was more than 1.244 million – down 208,700, or 14.4 percent, from peak trucking employment in January 2007. The BLS numbers 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.

Figures for trucking do not include the express delivery companies, which fall under the category of “couriers and messenger” in BLS data. According to preliminary numbers, employment in that category rose by 11,200 as companies like UPS and FedEx added temporary jobs to prepare for peak holiday season deliveries.

Nationwide, the employment picture was weak as the economy added just 39,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in November — well off its recent pace and not enough to keep pace with the number of people entering the work force. The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent. Moreover, the employment figures include the addition of 40,000 temporary jobs just within the category of professional and business services, so the economy actually lost permanent jobs in November, according to preliminary figures.