June Jobs Report Shows Little Transportation Sector Rebound

On July 2, while we were still focused on the House infrastructure bill, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the estimated jobs report for June.

Surface transportation jobs were up slightly from May (trucking up 0.6 percent, transit and ground transportation up 1.2 percent, and couriers and messengers up 2.4 percent, which is probably people taking jobs delivering restaurant takeout to homes). Scenic and sightseeing jobs were up 19.8 percent from June, but that is only about 3,800 jobs since that sector is not that large. But air transportation jobs dropped 0.9 percent and rail transportation jobs dropped 1.7 percent.

But those gains don’t begin to erase the huge losses in these sectors since February (the last pre-coronavirus month) – air, rail, truck, and transit/ground passenger transportation have collectively lost 427 thousand jobs since February. (However, courier and messenger jobs are up 57 thousand since coronavirus started, which again we are attributing to restaurant deliveries to homes.)

On the transportation construction and manufacturing side, about 9,700 heavy and civil engineering jobs were lost in June (-0.9%), bringing the seasonally adjusted decline since February to 85 thousand jobs, or 7.7 percent. (Seasonal adjustment is a huge deal for outdoor work.) And jobs in the manufacture of transportation equipment – which includes the auto industry – rose by 193 thousand in June as plants reopened (though still down by 160 thousand jobs since February).


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