For-hire trucking companies added 5,600 payroll jobs in February on a seasonally adjusted basis as the overall economy added 236,000 nonfarm jobs — the most added in a month in a year, according to the latest estimates released March 8 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% — the lowest since December 2008.
In addition to the strong February increase in trucking jobs, BLS revised January figures upward by 2,200, so the revised January increase over December was 6,500. In the last four months, the trucking industry has added 21,200 jobs.
Payroll employment in trucking in February totaled 1.375 million jobs — up 42,500 jobs, or 3.2%, from February 2012. Trucking employment is up by 148,900 jobs, or 12.1%, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 70,500 jobs, or 4.9%, below the peak in January 2007.
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.