Trucking hired 11,000 workers in February, accounting for half of a monthly gain in transportation and warehousing jobs, according to federal employment statistics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported transportation employment increased by 22,000 in February, while total non-farm payroll employment rose by 192,000.
That dropped the unemployment rate slightly to 8.9 percent but barely dented the total number of unemployed persons -- 13.7 million, according to the BLS.
Those added trucking jobs amount to a 0.8 percent increase month-over-month and a 2.5 percent year-over-year seasonally adjusted increase in hiring in the sector.
The for-hire trucking firms tracked by BLS employed about 1,266,200 workers of all types last month. The bureau tracks payroll headcount at about 110,000 carriers.
That number falls far short of the total number of motor carriers, for-hire and private, but still represents a significant portion of the for-hire trucking industry.
The February increase was the first uptick in trucking employment since November, according to the BLS data, which shows trucking jobs grew 1.5 percent in 2010.
Trucking's workforce is still 12.8 percent smaller than it was in February 2007, however, a sign of deep payroll cuts before and during the recession.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.