January 8, 2016 10:20 AM, EST
Trucking Adds 5,300 Jobs in December
Unemployment Rate Holds at 5%
Aaron Showalter/Bloomberg News

The trucking industry added 5,300 jobs in December as the unemployment rate held at 5%, the Labor Department reported Jan. 8.

The transportation and warehousing sector, which includes trucking, added 23,100 positions, bolstered by the addition of 15,100 courier and messenger jobs.

The 292,000 overall increase in employment caps the second-best year for American workers since 1999 and followed a 252,000 job gain the prior month that was larger than initially reported. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since April 2008, Bloomberg News reported.

The rise in trucking jobs follows a 3,700 rise in November that was revised from 2,300. Total transportation services and warehousing jobs rose by 20,200 last month.

“Job growth is solid,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York, told Bloomberg before the report. “The labor market will remain supportive of consumer spending. We ought to see a broader pickup in wage growth this year.”

The December job gains, which probably  were helped by mild winter weather across much of the country, were led by temporary-help services, health care, transportation and construction, Bloomberg reported.

Employment over the final three months of 2015 increased 284,000 on average, the most since January 2015.