Employment in transportation and warehousing climbed 1.4 percent in May, as the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The national average unemployment rate climbed from 7.5 percent in April to 7.6 percent in May, according to the BLS, with about 11.8 million people on the unemployment rolls last month.
The seasonally adjusted employment numbers for most transportation industries in May showed low to no gains from a year ago and some slight slippage from April, signs of an weak economic recovery.
Trucking led the way with a 3 percent increase in employment from a year ago. Aviation employment dropped 2.8 percent from May 2012. Rail labor dropped and maritime jobs rose by 0.3 percent.
Gains in retail employment may have helped propel trucking’s numbers higher. The retail trade added 28,000 workers in May, a 1.7 percent annualized improvement, with general merchandise stores adding 10,000 jobs, the BLS said.
Mining and logging, manufacturing and construction showed little or no change in employment from the previous month, though construction employment rose 3.4 percent year-over-year.