According to the latest edition of the Employment Situation Summary (ESS) release from the Department of Labor‘s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there had been “notable job gains” in transportation and warehousing.
About 13,000 jobs were added to the truck transportation in May, bringing the total employment to 1,581,300 as of writing. It followed five digit increases of 11,000 in February and 14,000 in April. However, jobs in the sector took a plunge in March, with 2,700 jobs being removed.
The current figures reflected a steady rise in truck transportation jobs since employment dropped by 80,000 jobs in April 2020 – the first month of the pandemic. According to FreightWaves, there had only been three months before 2022 that saw job gains of more than 10,000. The May 2020 job increase was among them, occurring after the 80,000-job plunge of April 2020.
The ESS report not only showed gains in truck transportation. It also reported the addition of 6,000 new jobs in air transportation, alongside 18,000 new jobs in warehousing and storage. Rail transportation also showed an increase of 500 jobs, a stark contrast from usually negative observations of the sector.
Michigan State University associate professor Jason Miller put in his two cents on the BLS findings in an email to FreightWaves. He noted that the 1,572,000 total jobs in the trucking sector – sans seasonal adjustments – was an “incredibly strong number.”
However, he issued a note of caution: “Part of me wonders if some of this could be due to self-employed, independent owner-operators transitioning back to employees. But it is still a bit too early to tell.”
Miller also pointed to the “breakneck pace” of job gains in the warehousing sector, saying that the figures were on a seasonal basis. Employment in the sector was flat without any seasonal adjustments, he added.
“This suggests we aren’t seeing an aggressive move to curtail capacity in this space following Amazon’s announcement that it is leasing some of its fulfillment center space,” remarked Miller, whose expertise is in logistics. (Related: Major retailers, e-tailers preparing for economic implosion as they shed massive amounts of warehouse space.)
Trucking job increases minuscule compared to losses caused by government mandates
Despite the seemingly optimistic ESS report, it cannot be denied that the federal government’s overreach caused more harm than good for truckers. Draconian mandates from Washington, D.C. have caused massive job losses in the sector – which the five-digit monthly job gains cannot compensate for.
Truck driver Matthew Garnett zeroed in on the Biden administration’s Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandate. In a Sept. 14, 2021 op-ed for the Federalist, he pointed out that the compulsory injections “may become a bane to small trucking companies at best, and strangle the economy due to a severe lack of drivers at worst.”
According to Garnett, truck drivers are already burdened by stringent requirements from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Imposing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate under threat of heavy fines could further burden trucking companies, ultimately driving them out of business.
“As the small and mid-size transportation outfits struggle for drivers and eventually are forced to close, the already rising prices for goods are set to spike even further. Transportation logistics are quite complicated and delicate. A disruption in labor availability is a major shock to supply lines,” Garnett said.
Aside from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse also prevents enough truck drivers from going behind the wheel and transporting goods. The program, which involves the transport regulator recording substance abuse violations, kicked off in January 2020. More than 91,000 drivers had been disqualified under the clearinghouse for either refusing to take a test or testing positive for drugs or alcohol.
“We’ve lost 44,000 drivers so far in 2021 to drug or alcohol violations, which really stings when freight is sitting on the dock waiting to be picked up,” said P. Sean Garney, co-director of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting.
Watch Crete Carrier Corporation CEO and Chairman Tonn Ostergard below explaining how the COVID-19 vaccine mandate will affect truckers.
This video is from the Chinese taking down EVIL CCP channel on Brighteon.com.
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