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Trucking adds 5,300 jobs in January

The for-hire trucking industry added 5,300 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in January, while payroll employment in the entire U.S. economy surged by 243,000 civilian nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary numbers released Friday, Feb. 3, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent.

Payroll employment in for-hire trucking is up by 51,500, or 4 percent, from January 2011. Employment is up by 89,100, or 7.2 percent, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 130,100, or 9 percent, from the peak in January 2007.

The latest report from BLS includes the annual benchmark revision in the size of the U.S. work force, adding 162,000 jobs to the number estimated in March 2011. For for-hire trucking, this meant that the revised BLS figure for payroll employment in December was 1.318 million jobs — 22,000 more than what BLS initially reported for December. The January figure is about 1.323 million.

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 include new jobs, not replacements for existing positions.


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Avery Vise is executive director, trucking research and analysis for Randall-Reilly Business Media and also serves as senior editor, industry analysis for Commercial Carrier Journal. Previously, he was editorial director of Randall-Reilly’s Fleet/Dealer/Aftermarket group and had served as chief editor of CCJ for 10 years. From 1985 to 1998, Vise worked for McGraw-Hill’s Aviation Week Group, covering Congress and the Department of Transportation for publications about the commercial aviation industry. He has received numerous awards from American Business Media and the American Society of Business Publication Editors for his coverage of the trucking industry. Vise is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with degrees in government and history.