Employment Trends in Transportation and Warehousing
Once again, the transportation and warehousing sector had a disappointing quarter, dragged down by the dwindling warehousing sector. Even during the holiday season, when warehouses are stuffed with gifts waiting to be received, the sector did not experience any gains. In October, the sector suffered losses of 28,000 net jobs, in November it shrunk by 5,000, and it rounded out the year by losing 22,600 jobs in December. However, warehousing was not the largest drag on the sector last month. The couriers and messengers subsector lost 32,300 net jobs in December. While this is quite a dramatic decline, it could be revised in the months to come. Revisions have been sizeable in the past two years, and while they have switched from usually positive to usually negative, this one-month swing feels too large to not be a measurement error.
Outside of the couriers and messengers situation, transportation subsectors are performing far better than the warehousing subsector. Air and transit transportation employers both added over 3,000 net new jobs in December, while rail transportation gained a modest 500 net jobs. The warehousing sector lost 4,900 jobs in December.
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