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December 5, 2014 9:00 AM, EST

Trucking Adds 3,000 Jobs in November as Unemployment Rate Holds at Six-Year Low

Port of Seattle

The trucking industry added 3,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8%, the lowest level in six years, the Labor Department reported Dec. 5.

The transportation and warehousing sector, which includes trucking, added 16,700 positions in November. The transit and ground-passenger transportation segment gained 2,000 jobs as companies began hiring for the holidays, Bloomberg News reported.

“Both UPS and FedEx were understaffed going into the Christmas season,” Raymond Stone, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, wrote in a Dec. 2 note to clients. “This resulted in disruptions in delivery services including a higher incidence of late deliveries. These companies have taken steps not to let that happen again this year.”

The 321,000 overall increase in employment, the most since January 2012, follows a 243,000 gain in October that was stronger than previously reported, Bloomberg News reported.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.8 million in November, Labor said.

“You’ve got this really nice dynamic going on in that there’s more jobs growth, more spending, stronger GDP growth, which in turn means more jobs being created,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the second-best forecaster of payroll gains over the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s just a very good cycle to be in right now for the United States.”