The winter months after the holiday season are usually the slowest months of the year for trucking, so it will not come as a surprise to anyone that the preliminary numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that employment numbers in the industry are down.
Preliminarily, the BLS pins the total count of jobs at 1,475,700 in February, a decrease of 4,000.
Additionally, the numbers for December 2020 have been finalized. For preliminaries, the BLS estimated December 2020 to be at 1,484,300 jobs. Now the BLS pins the count at 1,478,900. This signifies that the jump from November to December was smaller than previously anticipated, but if the January preliminaries hold up, it will mean the dip from that month will not be as significant as the BLS once thought.
Obtaining employment counts and then verifying them to be accurate is a lengthy process, which is why the more accurate numbers run two months behind.
While the employment numbers are indicative and typical of a slow season, other factors indicate that the future of trucking still has a lot of fuel left in its tank. For the most notable example, truck sales for February were nearly record-breaking, and if trailer sales continue to correlate with truck sales, those sales should follow in lockstep.
The trucking industry slumped during the worst of the pandemic (an event that started almost a year from the writing of this article), but, arguably more than any other industry in the nation, it has managed to bounce back quickly and stronger than before.