The U.S. freight-related transportation industry and warehouse sector added 4,900 jobs in December from November, while two industries key to volume growth — manufacturing and construction — added 55,000 jobs total.
American employers added 155,00 total jobs in December, but the unemployment rate stayed at 7.8 percent, according to seasonally adjusted Labor Department statistics. The trucking industry added the most jobs, 4,200, boosting the work force by 0.3 percent to 1.36 million jobs.
The rail industry expanded by 200 positions to 231,400 jobs, while the warehousing and transportation sector grew by 4,900 jobs, or 0.1 percent, to 672,700 positions. The air transport sector, which includes passenger transport, shrank by 100 jobs, and the water transportation sector lost 700 jobs between November and December.
A slight uptick in manufacturing in December appears to have helped boost the industry’s work force by 25,000 jobs, 0.2 percent, to 11.9 million jobs. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index increased to 50.7 in December from 49.4 in November, the lowest rate reading since July 2009. Any reading above 50 indicates production growth. The construction industry added 30,000 jobs, expanding its work force by 0.5 percent to nearly 5.6 million jobs.