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Industry gains most jobs since 2013

The trucking industry experienced positive job growth in December.
/ Industry News & Trends /

By: Phil Sneed

Good news is always welcome at the start of a new month, more so at the start of the new year. The trucking industry welcomed the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The transportation sector added 23,000 jobs in the month of December, but trucking added the most, with an increase of 5,300 positions. The industry closed out 2015 up 1.3 percent as a result. As a whole, this positive news represents the most growth since November 2013, when the transportation sector grew by 50,000 jobs.

Likewise, the added gains in December are much larger than in October 2015, when only 400 jobs were added, or in March 2015, when 7,000 jobs were lost.

With the latest report, the trucking industry now has a total of approximately 1.5 million jobs. As for more positive news: There are now 6,800 more jobs than there were reported in January 2007, typically considered pre-recession highs, according to Fleet Owner.

"The transportation industry added 23,000 jobs in the month of December."

Economy also adds jobs
The U.S. economy as a whole added about 292,000 jobs in December. Employment remained at 5 percent, which is generally considered the rate for full employment. The timing of the report was also much needed, as economic turmoil in Asia was causing some concern, Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust, told The New York Times.

"I think this really is illustrative of the fact that economic momentum in the United States is still awfully strong," added Tannenbaum.

Wages grow for the year
Average hourly earnings actually decreased by two cents from November, but this decline or stagnation was not unique to the trucking industry. In spite of the slight decline, average hourly earnings across all industries experienced a yearly gain of 2.5 percent.

Expect good news
The trucking industry will benefit if the economy continues to experience sustained, positive job growth. More people working means they will purchase larger quantities of goods, a majority of which are transported by trucks.

Fleet owners and others in the logistics management chain may want to pay close attention to the construction industry, due to the positive business implications that may be in store.

According to a recent survey from The Associated General Contractors of America, 71 percent of construction companies plan to increase payroll in 2016, as private and public markets continue to experience growth. In Texas alone, 64 percent of construction firms expect headcount to increase anywhere from 1 to 25 percent.

This bodes well for truckers, elaborated Trucking Info. Firms hiring more workers can take on more projects, thereby increasing the need for materials to be transported by trucks.

The jobs report from the bureau is always one of the most anticipated releases at the beginning of every month, and December's provided good news for the trucking industry. While there are still some areas of concern, transportation stands to benefit from sustained economic growth.