Trucking job losses still slowing

Payroll employment among for-hire trucking companies in September dropped 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from August levels – about the same decline as in August. Employment is down 9.5 percent from September 2008, according to preliminary figures released Friday, Sept. 4, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With the estimated 3,600 jobs lost in September, the trucking industry has lost more than 83,000 jobs since the end of 2008 – a decline of 6.2 percent. Job cuts since July 2008 – just before the current decline – total 133,500. 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.

Seasonally adjusted trucking employment peaked in January 2007 at more than 1.45 million, according to BLS figures. Since then, for-hire trucking companies have shed 196,900 jobs, or 13.5 percent.

In September, the decline in trucking employment only very slightly outpaced that in the entire U.S. economy. Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 263,000 jobs or 0.2 percent from August to September on a seasonally adjusted basis. Compared to September 2008, nonfarm payroll employment is down 4.5 percent.