November 21, 2023 / By Erika / Drivers • Logistic • Transport / 0 Comments
General Hiring Slows as Trucking Jobs Continue to Drop
Unemployment has been historically low this year, but the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures show hiring slowing. About 150,000 new jobs were added compared to 297,000 in September. But the new number is still robust enough to suggest that companies remain keen on hiring despite high interest rates making borrowing more expensive.
Experts say lowered job growth is due to the United Auto Workers strikes which just ended with tentative settlements agreed to by the union and Detroit automakers. The UAW strikes led to a loss of 35,000 jobs in October, which contributed to the unemployment rate rising from 3.8% to 3.9%. On top of that, the Labor Department lowered its job-growth estimate by 101,000 for August and September.
While other sectors saw job gains, such as healthcare (58,000) and construction companies (23,000), the truck transportation sector shed 5,000 jobs. That’s the fourth decline in the past five months, with total jobs at 1,578,600, down from 1,609,200 in May for a difference of 30,600 jobs.
The good news is that the seasonally adjusted trucking jobs report of 5,000 was a smaller decline compared to July and August. Revised September and August numbers show that the past five months have recorded drops of 1,400 jobs in June, 6,900 in July, 30,700 in August (due to the closing down of the huge Yellow Corp.), and 5,000 in October. There was also a trucking industry job increase of 13,400 in September, possibly due to the BLS overestimating job losses in August.
Economists mainly care about seasonally adjusted data, but they don’t advise disregarding non-seasonally adjusted numbers. The jobs total for not seasonally adjusted truck transportation in October was 1,589,700, the same as September, which was revised downward by 2,000 jobs.
Trucking Companies ask States for Parking Funds
The 50 state associations of the American Trucking Associations have sent a letter to all governors asking them to make truck parking one of their infrastructure spending priorities. In the letter, the ATA calls attention to the many new resources and funds being provided by the federal government through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which could be used to improve and expand truck parking facilities.
The ATA point out to the governors that construction of new truck parking capacity “at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate. Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”
For some time now, the trucking industry has been insisting on greater investment in truck parking capacity. They point to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which shows that 98% of truck drivers commonly have trouble finding safe parking. They are therefore often forced to park in unsafe or unauthorized areas. Because of this situation, 70% of drivers have had no choice at times but to violate hours-of-service rules.
To read more about the trucking industry request for parking funds: