March 10, 2017 5:00 PM, EST

Trucking Industry Boosts Payrolls by 10,600 in February


For-hire trucking added 10,600 jobs in February, while overall payrolls increased by 235,000, the Labor Department reported March 10.

Transportation and warehousing, which includes trucking, added 8,800 positions. The warehousing and storage sector lost 1,500 positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The increase in February payrolls followed a 238,000 rise in January. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, and wages grew 2.8% from February 2016, Bloomberg News reported.

Support activities for transportation lost 600 jobs, and the couriers and messengers sector lost 900 positions, according to BLS.

“We’re getting closer and closer to full employment,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg. “Wages had been the one sore spot in the labor market data, and I think that’s coming through here. With inflation accelerating, I think we’re going to start to see even stronger wage growth down the road.”

Construction added 58,000 jobs in February, and manufacturing jobs increased by 28,000, according to the report.

While unseasonably warm weather may have boosted the payrolls count, the data represent President Trump’s first full month in office and coincide with a surge in economic optimism after his election victory, Bloomberg reported.

Americans’ confidence continued to mount in the week ended March 3 as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached the highest point in a decade on more-upbeat assessments about the economy and buying climate, figures showed March 9.

Stock indexes near record highs and persistent strength in the job market have lifted the consumer comfort gauge in five of the past six weeks since Trump's inauguration. The comfort index showed respondents view the buying climate as the most favorable in nearly 15 years, indicating household spending may rebound after a slow start to 2017.