Logistics News: Trucking payrolls expand though demand is declining

Truckers edged back into hiring mode last month as overall logistics-sector job growth remained muted ahead of the holiday peak.

Trucking company payrolls grew by 1,300 jobs in October, ending a three-month stretch of job losses, according to preliminary employment figures the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. The trucking industry added 11,000 jobs between October 2018 and October 2019, the slowest rate of annual growth in nearly two and a half years, as carriers contend with weakening freight demand and a slow start to the fall shipping period.

“We have seen some seasonality and promotional volumes related to the traditional retail peak season but they are well below the frothy conditions of last year,” Mark Rourke, chief executive of Green Bay, Wis.-based trucker Schneider National Inc., said in an Oct. 31 investor call.

Courier and messenger companies added 2,400 jobs last month as hiring slowed among businesses that deliver packages to homes and businesses. United Parcel Service Inc. said it expects to hire nearly 50,000 seasonal workers on Friday, when the parcel carrier was scheduled to hold more than 185 job fairs across the country.

Hiring at warehousing and storage businesses added just 500 additional jobs in a sector that includes online fulfillment centers.

The U.S. economy overall added 128,000 jobs in October despite the General Motors Co. strike, exceeding economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6%.

Content reprinted from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, By Jennifer Smith Nov. 1, 2019, 1:31 pm ET Read more…