Trucking accounted for 1,500 of the 217,000 jobs added in May, and the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3%, the Labor Department reported June 6.
The job increase was above economists’ forecasts of 215,000, Bloomberg News reported.
The transportation and warehousing sector, which includes trucking, added 16,400 positions in May. The 217,000 rise followed a 282,000 gain in April.
“It’s in line with where we ultimately think the pace of job growth will be this year,” said Michelle Girard, chief U.S. economist at RBS Securities. The figure is “consistent with an economy that is growing between 2% and 2.5%.”
Manufacturing added 10,000 jobs, following an increase of 4,000 in March. Construction companies added 6,000 workers, after a 34,000 rise in March.
The increase in payrolls put total employment beyond its peak of 138.4 million reached in January 2008, one month after the start of the deepest recession since World War II, Bloomberg reported.
“It’s taken an extremely long period of time to gain back all of those jobs, much longer than any other cycle,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets. “It really drives home how painfully slow the process has been.”