For-hire trucking companies added 3,600 payroll jobs in October on a seasonally adjusted basis as the overall U.S. economy added 171,000 nonfarm jobs, according to the latest estimates released Nov. 2 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, BLS revised upward by 84,000 the number of jobs added in September. The national unemployment rate in October was 7.9 percent — a tenth of a point higher than in September, according to BLS figures. The unemployment rate figure is based on a separate survey that takes into account the number of people looking for work. It’s not unusual, therefore, for the rate to rise when jobs are added because an improving labor market can encourage people to reenter the labor pool.
Although trucking jobs were up by 3,600 over September, BLS also revised September’s figures downward by 1,100, meaning that September employment levels actually were slightly below August. Payroll employment in trucking in October totaled more than 1.354 million jobs — up 0.27 percent from September and 3.6 percent from October 2011. Trucking employment is up by 120,100 jobs, or 9.7 percent, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 99,100 jobs, or 6.8 percent, below the peak in January 2007. The number of trucking jobs is up 2.7 percent since the beginning of the year.
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.