The Journal of Commerce For-Hire Trucking Employment Index rose 0.8 percentage points to a reading of 95 in January, the largest jump in the index in a year.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data released Feb. 1 showed trucking companies created 5,000 jobs in January, an 0.4 percent increase from December.
Overall employment increased by 157,000 workers, but the number of unemployed people, 12.3 million, and national unemployment rate, 7.9 percent, changed little.
The U.S. freight-related transportation industry and warehouse sector lost 400 jobs in January from December, but trucking made strong gains.
January’s index reading of 95, the highest for the JOC index since August 2008, indicated for-hire trucking payrolls continue to expand, declining only once in the last year.
The index, based on BLS employment data for more than 100,000 motor carriers, was flat in March 2012 and declined 0.1 percentage points in September.
The index last increased 0.8 percentage points in February 2012.
For-hire trucking employment dropped about 15 percent from its peak in early 2007, reaching its nadir in March 2010, when the JOC index fell to 85.3.