Nine-Month Run of Trucking Job Gains Comes to an End in February
Washington D.C. – Trucking jobs took a hit last month, ending a consecutive nine month run of gains, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
For the first time since April of last year when nearly 90,000 trucking jobs were lost due to the pandemic shutdowns, payrolls in the for-hire trucking sector contracted.
The DOL reports trucking shed 4,000 jobs in February while the overall economy added 379,000 new jobs, sending the nation’s unemployment rate lower to 6.2%.
For-hire trucking employment came in at 1,475,700 total jobs in February, which is 49,100 fewer than February of last year before the pandemic began.
On a positive note, trucking jobs remain 47,300 higher than last year’s low point in April.
The construction sector took a major hit, dropping 61,000 jobs along with air transportation which shed 8,200 jobs.
However, manufacturing added a solid 21,000 jobs buoyed by growth among transportation equipment manufacturers which added 9,700 jobs in February.
Still, most of the new hiring came in the hospitality sector, which saw a gain of 355,000 new jobs.
The leisure and hospitality industries were decimated during the pandemic and unfortunately still remain 3.5 million jobs shy of last February’s total.
With states like Texas and Mississippi completely lifting COVID-19 restrictions last week, and other states such as Arkansas, Arizona, West Virginia, Connecticut, South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, Michigan and New Jersey also recently lifting or easing business capacity restrictions, there is optimism again surrounding short-term job growth.