Trucking loses jobs for the first time since January

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Payroll employment throughout the U.S. economy was essentially flat in August compared to July, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Friday, Sept. 2. The unemployment rate has dipped below 9 percent only twice since May 2009. On Sept. 8, President Obama plans to present a jobs plan to a joint session of Congress.

Meanwhile, in the trucking industry, payroll employment dipped by 900 jobs, and BLS revised downward its previously reported increases for June and July by another 900 jobs. The slight slide in August was the first since January.

Compared to August 2010, trucking employment is up by 40,000, or 3.2 percent. Payroll employment is up by 26,400 jobs, or 2.1 percent, in 2011 and by 55,100 jobs, or 4.5 percent, since the bottom of trucking employment in March 2010. The number of trucking jobs – 1.283 million – remains nearly 171,000 jobs below peak employment in January 2007.

The BLS numbers 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 include new jobs, not replacements for existing positions.

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