Transportation and trucking employment continued to recover in September, gradually climbing out of a deep hole established in April amid the global pandemic.
The transport sector gained nearly 74,000 jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This marks the fourth consecutive monthly increase after four consecutive decreases, including a historic monthly drop in April.
Trucking jobs also went up, with a gain of nearly 5,000 after an increase of 10,000 trucking jobs in August. This marks the fifth consecutive increase in trucking jobs and the seventh monthly increase this year.
April’s trucking job loss was the largest since the bureau began tracking the subsector in 1990. At a distant second, nearly 50,000 trucking jobs were eliminated in April 1994. That was likely the result of about 80,000 Teamsters going on strike after negotiations with Truck Management Inc. failed.
Employment numbers for September and August are preliminary.
Warehousing/storage employment experienced the largest increase for the second consecutive month, with more than 32,000 additional jobs in the economy. Coming in second for a second consecutive month is transit/ground passenger transport (21,400), followed by couriers/messengers (10,300). Only two subsectors experienced a monthly decrease in employment. There were 1,600 fewer air transport jobs in September as well as 300 fewer pipeline transport jobs.
The trucking subsector had a net gain of more than 4,000 jobs last year, a far cry from the nearly 55,000 job increase in 2018. However, the employment situation last year is better than 2016’s loss of 4,000 jobs.
To date, trucking employment is down 73,600 jobs due to April’s downward spiral.
At about 1.45 million jobs, this sets trucking employment back to numbers last seen in 2017. However, this is a significant improvement from July when the number of trucking jobs reached levels last reported in November 2014.
The transportation sector had a