BLS report: Six years of trucking sector job gains have disappeared

The number of workers in the truck transportation sector plummeted in April to levels not seen since 2014.

According to the unemployment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning, May 8, 1,435,600 people were employed in the truck transportation sector of the Transportation & Warehousing “super sector.” That is down 88,300 from March. Both March and April figures are preliminary.

The last time the BLS reported that few workers in the truck transportation sector was at the end of 2014. For the final three months of that year, the figure went from 1,435,400 to 1,435,500 million and then up to 1,442,500 to close out the year. Since then, every monthly number has been higher than what was reported by BLS for April. 

The recent high employment number in the category was 1,525,400 in July 2019. 

Overall, the category of Transportation and Warehousing lost 584,100 jobs during the month, dropping to 5,068,800. The last time the number was below that was November 2016 when it was 5,064,400. 

Other significant numbers from the report were all down as the nation’s unemployment rate for April hit 14.7%:

–  Rail transportation was down to 1,572,000 employees, a relatively minor drop of 2,400 jobs. But that industry has already taken its hit; in April 2019, that number stood at 1,795,000 jobs. 

– Even with all the focus on the restocking of shelves, the number of jobs in warehousing and storage was down 74,100 to 1,143,000. A year ago, that figure was 1,169,900,

– Couriers and messengers rose slightly, a rare upward tick in a report that is otherwise almost all negative. It climbed 1,800 jobs to 848,500 jobs.