In a stunning development in the midst of a strong trucking market, the number of jobs in the trucking sector in the U.S. fell in January from December, according to data released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Not only that, but revisions for December and November mean that there were fewer people working in the sector during those months than was originally estimated by BLS.
According to the BLS seasonally adjusted data, trucking jobs in the U.S. in January totaled 1,475,400. That was down from the 1,478,300 jobs recorded for December.
But the December number — which is still listed as preliminary — was cut from the preliminary number issued last month of 1,484,300 jobs in trucking.
Meanwhile, the November figure went “final” with this latest BLS report. The first two months of a report are preliminary before a final number is published. When the BLS report was issued last month, it had trucking jobs in November, standing at 1,477,000 jobs. But with the latest report, the final figure for November is 1,472,800.
Ironically, the final November figure is closer to what was first reported for that month two months ago. When BLS first reported November employment figures, in early December, the November number for trucking jobs was 1,474,400.
The last time the seasonally adjusted trucking jobs recorded a decrease was from March to April of 2020, just as the pandemic was taking hold.
According to the data for not seasonally adjusted jobs, the drop-off in the trucking sector was even steeper. The BLS reported 1,449,400 not seasonally adjusted trucking jobs last month, down from 1,477,300 jobs a month earlier.
The latest report also showed a reversal in the warehousing and storage sector. The number of jobs there fell to 1,425,100 jobs from 1,442,500 jobs in December. That figure for January is now less than November, where the final figure shows the number of jobs at 1,434,700 seasonally adjusted positions.
Rail jobs in January held their own at 144,800, flat from the prior month.
FreightWaves will be following this story.