Trucking Jobs Unchanged as U.S. Unemployment Rises

Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

Payrolls in the trucking industry did not change in February from January while the overall economy added jobs and the unemployment rate rose, the Labor Department said March 7.

Trucking had 1.39 million jobs in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same as the month before. The transportation and warehousing sector, which includes trucking, lost 3,600 jobs in that period, Labor said in its monthly unemployment report.

Overall, the economy gained 175,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate rose to 6.7% from the prior month’s 6.6%, which was the lowest in five years. The different directions in the two measures show that more people were entering the workforce than the number of new jobs available, Bloomberg News reported.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a 149,000-job increase after January’s 129,000 new jobs, a figure that was higher than originally reported. The economists expected the unemployment rate not to change from 6.6%.

“The fundamentals are good,” Joe LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, told Bloomberg. “Faster job growth means faster income and more discretionary spending. Ultimately, with more business spending, not only will they hire more people, they’ll hire more capital. Everything becomes self-reinforcing.”

The transportation, trade and utilities sector added 7,000 jobs, Labor said. Within the transportation and warehousing category, warehousing and storage led in new jobs with 5,500. Couriers and messengers led job losses with 11,900.

A March 5 report by ADP Employer Services said private employers added 139,000 jobs in February.