Trucking jobs surge with November revision

Preliminary figures show that trucking companies added 3,200 new employees on a seasonally adjusted basis in January, but the real news is that U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics again revised upward its November 2010 estimate — this time by 8,500 jobs. The month before, BLS had added 3,000 jobs to its initial November figures. With the further revision and January increase, BLS numbers released Feb. 4 show 9,200 more jobs in trucking than the agency’s report a month ago.

Payroll employment at for-hire trucking companies was 27,200 jobs, or 2.2. percent, higher than in January 2010, according to the preliminary figures. Since the beginning of March 2010 when the slump in trucking jobs hit bottom, trucking companies have added 32,100 jobs, according to the latest estimates.

According to preliminary BLS figures, total employment in trucking in January was more than 1.25 million – down 193,900, or 13.3 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 plunged by 44,800 jobs as companies like UPS and FedEx elminiated the temporary jobs added to handle peak holiday season deliveries.

Nationwide, the employment picture improved as the unemployment rate dropped 4 percentage points to 9.0 percent. The economy added 36,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in January.

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