Trucking job losses keep slowing

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Updated Jan 6, 2010

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

With the estimated 4,000 jobs lost in August, the trucking industry has lost more than 81,000 jobs since the end of 2008 – a decline of 6 percent. Job cuts since July 2008 – just before the current decline – total 131,500. 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 194,900 jobs, or 13.4 percent.

In August, the decline in trucking employment only slightly outpaced that in the entire U.S. economy. Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 216,000 jobs or 0.2 percent from July to August on a seasonally adjusted basis. Compared to August 2008, nonfarm payroll employment is down 4.3 percent.