Trucking employment tumbles in March, in line with other data

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The for-hire trucking industry’s total payroll employment shrunk by 6,800 jobs in March, according to preliminary data released April 3 by the Department of Labor.

The DOL also slightly downwardly revised February’s total employment number by about 600 jobs.

March’s employment downswing snapped a string of month-to-month increases that dated back to December 2013.

Trucking’s employment backslide came as the economy as a whole also slowed its employment gains, adding just 126,000 jobs in the month. The national employment rate held at its multi-year low of 5.5 percent.

American Trucking Associations’ Chief Economist Bob Costello said on Twitter following the employment report release that the 6,800-job drop was “substantial,” but the country’s employment numbers make sense, given lackluster January and February economic data:

For-hire trucking now totals 1.4388 million on a seasonally adjusted basis — a 2.8 percent increase (39,300 jobs) from March 2014.

It’s also up 205,600 jobs (16.7 percent) from the most recent bottom in March 2010. It remains, however, 13,680 jobs (1 percent) shy of January 2007’s peak.

Employment in the broader transportation and warehousing sector grew by 9,500 jobs. Construction and manufacturing sectors lost 1,000 jobs each.

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