Work Week Ends With Good News From US Labor Department

by Jana Ritter - Published: 3/08/2013

While U.S. payrolls jumped by 236,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the trucking industry added 5,600 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported Friday.


The 5,600 payroll jobs added to the trucking industry in February were from for hire trucking companies and based on a seasonally adjusted basis as the overall economy added 236,000 nonfarm jobs. According to the latest estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these amounts were the most added in a month in year. 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.

As of this latest report, payroll trucking company jobs 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. But no matter how you look at it, the trucking industry is booming with opportunity and there is no sign of it stopping any time soon.

The positive news goes beyond the trucking industry, offering long awaited hope to the overall US job market as well. In fact, the jobs gain across all sectors was well above analysts' forecasts of 165,000, Bloomberg News reported. Construction jobs jumped by 48,000, the most in almost six years, and factories added 14,000 workers. Although January's employment increase was revised down to 119,000 jobs from an originally reported 157,000, the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% — the lowest since December 2008.

Also promising, is that the unemployment rate was forecast to hold at 7.9%, according to the Bloomberg report.