The U.S. trucking industry added 100 jobs in December compared with November as the overall unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%, the Labor Department reported Jan. 10.
December’s increase in trucking jobs compared to 8,300 jobs added in November, which was revised slightly from the 8,400 first reported. The economy added 74,000 jobs overall, compared with a revised 241,000 the previous month, Labor said.
At 6.7%, the unemployment rate was the lowest since October 2008, Labor said. It fell from last month’s 7%, which was also a five-year low.
The number of jobs added was much lower than the 197,000 that economists predicted, on average, when surveyed by Bloomberg News. That indicates that “maybe we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves in the belief the economy’s momentum is stronger than it really is,” Russell Price, a senior analyst with Ameriprise Financial Inc., told Bloomberg.
“It could be that the economy and labor market are improving, but just not as much as we thought,” Price said. Economists in Bloomberg’s survey also predicted that the unemployment rate would not change from last month’s 7%.
Trucking had 1.39 million jobs in December, according to the report.
Jobs in the transportation and warehousing sector, which includes trucking, fell by 600 in December to 4.54 million.
Two days before Labor released its report, payroll processing firm ADP Employer Services said the private sector added 238,000 jobs in December, the most since November 2012. It followed a 229,000 gain the previous month that was higher than originally reported.