The jobs data for December 2015 was just released by the Labor Department and it paints a sunny picture for the economy. Job creation surged with 292,000 being added for the month – a figure vastly exceeding the expectations of analysts. This pushes the monthly average growth rate for the year to 221,000 jobs. While this isn’t as high as 2014, it isn’t far off either. Most importantly, the trucking sector posted a record high in employment.
For-hire trucking companies absorbed 5,300 more employees last December. As a result, the total number of jobs in the sector reached 1.462 million showing just how vital it is to the economy. The overall rise year-on-year is at 20,000. This reflects a robust situation as a whole for the transportation industry which gained 23,000 jobs in the past month. The majority of these new employees work as messengers and couriers.
Good News for the Fed
Things were looking jittery for the Fed as volatility in China, along with unimpressive data for inflation, housing and manufacturing, made critics question its move to hike rates during the period. With job creation being so positive, people can breathe a sigh of relief with concrete validation.
The pace of job growth will be hard to keep up in 2016 but this should not be a cause of too much concern. It will simply be a consequence of a slowdown in supply rather than a slack in demand for workers. The jobs lost in the Great Recession have mostly been regained and US population growth will stay low.
Future Prospects for the Trucking Sector
So what does this all mean for trucking?
Job advancements will always be good for the sector because more people will have the means to purchase goods. These, of course, will be delivered by trucks from all over the country. More purchases equates to more deliveries to cope with consumer demand.
The construction sector is also expected to boost trucking with an increased volume of materials requiring transport to various sites. Companies here are seeking to add jobs themselves. In a recent survey among contractors, it was found that 71% of them were thinking about hiring more people in response to the greater amount of projects expected in 2016. Headcount expansion is projected to be 25% or less for almost two-thirds of the respondents and greater than 25% for about one in every twelve company.