Here we are at the end of another year. When looking at the entire year as a whole, the trucking industry has made great strides in recovering from the mass layoffs from the start of the coronavirus pandemic. When looking just at December, however, the numbers are slightly lackluster. Here is what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had to say.
December 2021 Numbers
The employment counts for December 2021 are:
- 1,523,300 for the initial listing of December 2021.
- 1,523,000 for the revised count of November 2021 (1,700 more than the initial estimate).
- 1,515,300 for the final listing of October 2021 (200 fewer than initial, 400 fewer than revised).
Considering the revision for November, the preliminary count for December is a little more than incremental, but we will have to see next month and the month after as to whether or not the count increases as more information arrives.
The trucking industry started 2020 with 1,521,400 employees, before bottoming out in April 2020 at 1,428,400. It has been making solid progress since then, with the only decrease from one month to the next happening in April 2021, by a mere 800 jobs.
Compared to the amount in February 2020, the last full month before the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, the trucking industry had only 1,100 more workers than it does now. We are fairly confident in predicting that by the end of February the number will match or exceed that count, and the pandemic will have put employment only two years behind. It would be interesting to see where the number would be now if not for the coronavirus, but figuring that out is more complicated than just adding the past 22 months’ growth to February 2020, due to laid-off employees returning to the industry.
In any case, the trucking industry gained approximately 42,000 workers since the start of 2021. Not too bad, but the number will not be set in stone until February 2022.
We are also entering the slow season for the trucking industry, so while we like to remain optimistic that the trucking industry can gain a net of 1,100 jobs in fifty-nine days, it is truly anyone’s guess. We will keep you posted.
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