For-hire trucking companies added 3,100 payroll jobs in July as the overall U.S. economy added a net of 163,000 nonfarm jobs, according to the latest estimates released Aug. 3 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Payroll employment in trucking was up 0.23% over May and 3.3% over July 2011. Employment is up by 112,200 jobs, or 9.1%, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 107,000 jobs, or 7.4%, below the peak in January 2007. The number of trucking jobs are up 2.1% since the beginning of the year.
The gain in overall U.S. employment is the strongest since January, but even so the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.3%. The payroll jobs and unemployment rate figures are based on separate surveys, which helps explain why they moved in different directions.
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.