March Jobs Report Beats Expectations But Trucking Hires Decline
Washington D.C. – The U.S. economy added almost 200,000 jobs in March beating expectations.
According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers added 196,000 jobs in March exceeding predictions by economists of 177,000.
Payrolls surged in March after a disappointing February report seeing the U.S. job market only create 33,000 jobs. The unemployment rate now stands at near a 50-year low of 3.8%.
Driving the job gains were the healthcare and hospitality sectors.
However, wages saw a slight decrease from February. Year-over-year growth in wages slipped to 3.2% in March, down from 3.4% last month.
Trucking Hires Decline For First Time Since April 2018
All was not great news in the March job report though. Trucking hires fell by 1,200 jobs in March.
The decline is the first time trucking has shed jobs since April of 2018. It marks the end of a run that saw trucking payrolls add nearly 35,000 jobs during that time.
On the bright side, trucking hires are still 1.9% higher than at this time in 2018.
Something Or Nothing?
Hiring in the trucking industry is often a strong barometer for the direction the U.S. economy is headed. So, is March’s poor job performance something to be concerned with or is it only a blip and a normal correction?
Trucking analysts have been warning since Q4 ’18 that demand was softening and capacity was tightening, so the March report is not unexpected.
However, we will be watching the trucking job creation numbers in the coming months with great interest.
One or two months of job declines could be a normal course correction, but if trucking continues to shed jobs, it could be signs of something much worse bubbling to the surface of the U.S. economy.