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Trucking Jobs Rising in May
Jun 16, 2021

Nearly all trucking companies are seeking help and offering incentives such as pay increases, bonuses, and helpful packages. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a decline in employment in the months of April and May with their seasonally adjusted figures. 

BLS defines their process to produce seasonally adjusted data as “attempts to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment change from month to month.”

While the seasonally adjusted figures are examined and given attention, most economists and news reports do not consider the not-seasonally adjusted data which actually do not align with the drop in employment. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) describes not-seasonally adjusted figures to be raw data that has not been modified to fit the effects of seasonal patterns and/or changes. 

By the end of the month, May’s trucking data showed a notable difference in employment levels for the truck transportation sector. Reportedly, the sector had over a million jobs in March which dropped by nearly 2,000 jobs in April and May. Although, the not-seasonally adjusted numbers show that employment has increased by 18,000 jobs since March. These numbers can have value by being used to see what the expected value for a month would be. 

Truck transportation was not the only area that showed a difference between seasonally adjusted and not-seasonally adjusted numbers. The overall employment report showed total U.S. job growth at 559,000 jobs. The not-seasonally adjusted figure was 973,000 jobs.

The director of economic research at Convoy, Aaron Terrazas, indicated that the number of hours worked by all employees in the sector substantially increased. 

“The average weekly hours worked for nonsupervisory employees at trucking firms touched 43.3 in April, coming off of an earlier all-time high of 43.0 hours in March, which was one hour per week longer than the 2015-2019 average of 41.9 hours. May data are likely to show an even larger increase in hours worked for specialized trucking firms given the temporary relaxation of hours-of-service regulations for fuel tank haulers during the mid-May Colonial Pipeline outage,” Terrazas says. 

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