Job growth stalls but van volumes remain strong

Posted on 02/06/2017 by David Radke

Truck on highway

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the January jobs report, and while the numbers may not be the best, there's still plenty of time for the trucking industry to rebound.

According to the report, employment fell by 1,400 jobs, the first decline in six months.

After adding 18,600 jobs throughout the second half of 2016, trucking companies expected January employment to dip following the busy holiday shipping period, explained the Journal of Commerce.

Moving forward, fleets and carriers need to be careful about hiring. While last month was the first January since 2010 that trucking jobs didn't increase, freight demand is expected to rise in the coming months, so companies will still need to hire drivers. 

"Freight demand is still there and is expected to rise in the coming months."

As a whole, the U.S. economy beat economists' predictions by creating 227,000 jobs against an expected 175,000, CNBC reported. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.7 percent.

Trucking job totals weren't the brightest last month, but a growing economy bodes well for the industry since the demand for goods will increase and shippers will most likely call on fleet services to deliver those shipments.

Weekly spot market is still strong

According to Overdrive Magazine, van volumes remained stable at the end of January. The last time van volumes were this strong to start a new year (as measured by the DAT Load Boards) was in early 2014 during a period known as the Snowpocalypse.

While outbound rates in a majority of major markets like Denver and Chicago declined, rates in Houston held steady.

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