Another month has gone by since we last reported on the coronavirus pandemic affecting job numbers. Although the pandemic appears to not have an end in sight, society as a whole has become acclimated to the pandemic, and things are returning slightly back to normal. Some people are going back to work (albeit working from home), restaurants are reopening (requiring outdoor seating), and job numbers in the trucking industry continue to go up (according to preliminary results).
The Value of Preliminary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) constantly updates their numbers as they get more and better data. One immediate example of this is the trucking industry in May 2020. Initial reports indicated a loss of 1,200 jobs, but later revisions showed an increase of 1,800 jobs. 3,000 total may not be much in the grand scheme of an industry that employs well over a million people, but the fact estimations changed from a loss to a gain is quite noteworthy.
With that in mind, current preliminary statistics should be taken with a grain of salt:
- July 2020 had an estimated 1,439,500 employees, an increase of 2,100 from June.
- August 2020 had an estimated 1,449,500 employees, an increase of 10,000 from July.
The number of trucking industry jobs for 2020 peaked in February at 1,527,300, before falling down to a trough in April at 1,430,600. With the pandemic dealing a heavy blow of 96,700 jobs, the preliminary stats for August suggest that about 19.5% of lost jobs have been recovered. A small percentage, but the good news is that each month since April has been higher than the last.
Even if the preliminary numbers for July and August are overestimations, it would take a large amount for both of them, especially August, to cause a decrease in the numbers.
The current job numbers are comparable to those found in January 2017, so while the trucking industry has been set back a bit in terms of job numbers due to COVID-19, it is not back to the stone age, or even ten years ago when numbers hovered around 1,250,000.
At the current rate it will still be another few years before the trucking industry reaches its all-time high of jobs it had in February 2020, but whenever the official end of the pandemic occurs is all but certain to create a boost for jobs in the industry.