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News Alert: Truck transportation jobs grow but still below year-ago levels

With November revision, jobs are up more than 19,000 since October

The U.S. added more than 7,000 truck transportation jobs in December, with an upward revision for November adding up to a jobs gain of almost 20,000 in just two months.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1,484,300 seasonally adjusted jobs in the truck transportation sector for December. That’s up from a revised November figure of 1,477,000 jobs, for a gain of 7,300 jobs between November and December. 

But the initial November report showed truck transportation jobs at 1,474,400, which means the number of truck transportation jobs in the U.S. is up almost 10,000 from the initial report of a month ago.

The October numbers are now final. When the BLS reports its jobs figures, the number it releases for the most recent month is preliminary and is subject to revision a month later. After that, it’s final. And what that shows is that the December figure of 1,484,300 jobs is 19,100 jobs more than the October figure of 1,465,200. It’s also 30,000 jobs more than September.

Still, perhaps the most astounding number in the report is that even after all these gains, the number of jobs in the sector is still less than what the BLS reported for December 2019. This isn’t new, it’s been a feature of year-on-year comparison in the report for months. But after a record-breaking freight market, the 1,484,300 jobs in the truck transportation sector employed in December is still 42,100 jobs less than December 2019.

In other highlights from the report, rail transportation jobs were flat at 144,900. Red-hot warehousing and storage climbed yet again, rising to 1,295,500 jobs, up from 1,287,300 jobs. That’s a bit more than 100,000 jobs over where it stood in December 2019. 

FreightWaves will provide further reporting on the numbers later Friday.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.