Trucking employment down again in April

Payroll employment among for-hire trucking companies in April dropped 1.2 percent from March levels and 9 percent from April 2008 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, May 8.

The estimated 16,200 jobs lost in April bring to more than 57,000 trucking lost since the end of 2008 – a decline of 4.3 percent. Job cuts since the beginning of August when trucking job cuts began to accelerate total nearly 107,000, or 7.7 percent. 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.

According to BLS, seasonally adjusted trucking employment peaked in January 2007 at more than 1.45 million. Since then, for-hire trucking companies have shed more than 171,000 jobs, or 11.8 percent.

In April, the decline in trucking employment outpaced that in the entire U.S. economy. Non-farm payroll employment fell by 539,000 jobs or 0.4 percent from March to April. Compared to April 2008, non-farm payroll employment is down 3.8 percent.