Arriving on the heels of a disappointing economic report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics where only 69,000 new jobs were added to the economy in May, the BLS noted that the trucking industry was a strong performer during the fiscal quarter. Active truck driver employment shot up 8.8% in the first quarter of 2012, pulling the industry into a large growth status that even competes with health care.
The BLS numbers for trucking reflect all payroll employment in for-hire trucking, but they don’t include trucking-related jobs in other industries, such as a truck driver for a private fleet. Nor do the numbers reflect the total amount of hiring since they only reflect the number of employees paid during a specified payroll period during the month. Due to high turnover rates, the BLS estimates may overstate the number of job positions due to the methodology used in the agency’s Current Employment Survey.
For-hire carriers added 7,300 payroll jobs in May, up from an upwardly revised 2,700-job increase in April, preliminary BLS figures show. May numbers for trucking were up 0.55% over April and 3.4% over May 2011. Employment is up by 109,100 jobs, or 8.8%, from the bottom in March 2010, but it remains 110,100 jobs, or 7.6%, below the peak in January 2007.