The seven major freight railroads reduced employment on their U.S. lines by 1,096 workers from mid-December to mid-January, the second straight cut after trimming 642 jobs the month before.
In reports filed by the railroads and compiled by the Surface Transportation Board, the seven Class I carriers said they had 153,304 workers as of the first payroll in January. That was the lowest since August and marked the first back-to-back monthly declines since the carriers started adding workers following the recession.
By The Numbers: U.S. Rail Cargo
These are raw payroll figures and not adjusted for seasonal variations. Employment traditionally falls some in winter after the big traffic peak in autumn and picks up again in spring. Last year, however, railroads added jobs even in winter to keep up with rebounding freight shipments.
All carriers except Union Pacific Railroad carried fewer employees in mid-January than in mid-December, and employment at Kansas City Southern’s U.S. operations was nearly steady. Canadian National Railway reported the largest decline with 457 fewer jobs in January on its U.S. lines, followed by BNSF Railway with a drop of 238. CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway’s U.S. operations each cut fewer than 200.
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