We wrote last month about how we were cautiously optimistic about the trucking industry getting more workers than it did before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has updated its numbers, and it says that not only are we above pre-pandemic numbers, but trucking is also at the highest employment since it started tracking the numbers in 1990.
January 2022 Numbers
The employment counts posted for January 2022 are:
- 1,549,200 for the initial preliminary record of January 2022.
- 1,541,700 for the second preliminary data for December 2021 (18,400 more than the previous estimate!).
- A final count of 1,537,600 for November 2021 (16,300 more than initial, 14,600 more than previous).
When the job numbers for all sectors were first announced, the Twitterverse replied with much skepticism, and we are inclined to agree: how did the Bureau of Labor Statistics, whose revisions usually range in a few hundred, miss the mark by over 16,000 for November? We remain optimistic that the trucking industry is still going strong.
What makes the numbers even more confusing is that usually January is the start of the slow season for trucking, after the rush of the holiday season of Christmas and New Years. What could have caused this reversal of fortune?
As mask mandates are set to lift in the coming weeks depending on the state, it is likely production in the United States is starting to ramp up, and with the global supply shortages we have been facing, we certainly need all the filled driver seats that we can get. We hope that these numbers are accurate.
What will be interesting to see is what February 2022 brings to the table. Not because of February’s own numbers, but because December and January will be revised and we will be able to see just how accurate they really are. If January’s counts are accurate, the trucking industry has almost 120,000 more workers than it did at the start of the pandemic and exceeds the last record held in June 2019 by about 9,000 employees. The future of trucking is looking good!
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