7 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags: American Freight Trucking
Trucking employment in the U.S. slipped in September despite overall non-farm job growth moving higher for the 72nd straight month, according to a new Labor Department report. But other reports indicate manufacturing in the country is regaining some steam, fueling speculation over an interest rate hike.
For-hire trucking lost 3,600 jobs following an upwardly revised gain of 4,000 in August, while the wider transportation and warehousing sector saw a loss of 9,000 jobs last month. This follows job losses in March through June.
Overall, the economy added 156,000 jobs in September, fewer than many analysts were expecting and the smallest number since May. The six-month average slowed from 174,000 to 169,000, the weakest since November 2012.
Despite the September increase, the nation's unemployment rate moved higher by a tenth of a point from August to 5% in September as the overall pool of available workers increased.
As labor markets move closer to full employment, the availability of workers will increasingly limit the monthly increase in hiring, according to Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada Economics.
“The rise in the unemployment rate might argue against this tightening – though, given that it resulted from a surge in the labor force, it suggests increasing optimism among those currently unemployed to find work," he said. “The steady rise in wage growth also points to strengthening labor markets.”
Assuming continued stability in financial markets, Ferley said tightening labor markets would argue in favor of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee hiking interest rates again soon. RBC believes it more likely to happen next year, “as the central bank awaits greater confirmation that this labor market strength is fueling above-average, and sustained, gross domestic product growth.”
Others have a slightly different perspective, noting continued improvement in the labor market was at the forefront of the Fed's latest