Weather is a Factor in February’s Decline in Trucking Jobs

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Bad weather may have contributed to the decline in February of U.S. trucking employment from January, which is in the opposite direction of most January to February changes. The director of economic research at Convoy, the conclusion of Aaron Terrazas. He on a regular basis comments on the monthly unemployment report.

Trucking Jobs Declined

For February, the employment report reported that in fact seasonally adjusted trucking jobs declined to 1,475,700 jobs. This is a drop of 4,000 from January. Moreover, the January report was revising upward by 4,300 jobs from what was reporting last month. Therefore, the end result is that the number of trucking jobs in February 300 jobs more believing in January jobs. That is when they were reporting four weeks ago.

Weather Adjusted Job Losses

“Moreover, trucking firms lost 4,000 (seasonally adjusted) jobs. Though that is probably overstating by about 1,500 due to weather-related distortions and weather-adjusted job losses in the trucking industry close to 2,500,” Terrazas said.

With the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs, even with a strong overall number, Terrazas said the weather impact deeming real. “Potentially to the tune of tens of thousands of jobs, winter storms across much of the country in mid-February clearly weighed on the labor market,” he wrote. “So any long-term implications of today’s report should be read with due caution, these weather effects are transitory.”

Data on Subsector Basis

A professor of supply chain logistics at Michigan State, Jason Miller, has dived into the data on a subsector basis. When total employment in the trucking and transportation sector previously greater than it is today, looking at where employment is comparing to January of last year. It was 1,522,800 in January 2020 versus 1,475,700 today. Moreover, Miller said that LTL employment from the first month of 2020 is down 1.8%. It’s 3.8% less, in the long-haul truckload sector. It’s down 3.7%, in the long-haul specialized sector.

“These lines have stayed somewhat parallel on the chart, thereby suggesting carriers aren’t strongly adding employee drivers in these sectors,” he said.

In the general freight, he added that employment in the local carrier’s classification is up 1.6% from January 2020.

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