US Trucking Employment Hits Pre-Recession Peak

Trucking employment surged for a second straight month in June, with U.S. truckload and less-than-truckload carriers hiring approximately 7,400 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That pushed for-hire carriers tracked by the BLS past their pre-recession employment peak in 2007. The strong increase in trucking employment, a 3.1 percent year-over-year gain, is good news for shippers and trucking companies concerned about capacity and a shortage of qualified truck drivers. More than 100,000 carriers tracked by the BLS have added 18,900 jobs over the past three months. That compares with 15,700 and 13,000 jobs in the same period in 2014 and 2013, respectively, a sign that higher driver wages and benefits are paying off for carriers. Trucking firms still need an additional 35,000 to 40,000 drivers to meet demand, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

In the past three months, the average gain in trucking jobs was 6,300 a month, with trucking employment gains for April and May revised upward to 2,600 and 8,900. That’s a 29 percent gain over the second quarter of 2014, when the average trucking hiring rate per month was 4,867 employees. The hiring rate is expected to increase, as payrolls are expected to continue to expand at the same rate through the second quarter of 2016. Stay tuned for more updates.