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Truckers Cut Payrolls as Freight Demand Softens

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cash-collection-currency-47344Carriers cut payrolls by 1,200 in March, according to preliminary figures the Labor Department reported on April 5, halting a nearly yearlong expansion amid signs a hot streak that boosted transportation companies’ profits in 2018 is cooling. Also:

  • Warehousing and storage companies added 1,700 jobs in March — the slowest month of growth since December in a sector where hiring has grown rapidly as more people shop online.
  • Courier and messenger firms that deliver packages to homes and businesses added 1,800 jobs last month, recovering from a February slide when payrolls shrank by nearly 10,000.
  • Overall, U.S. employers added 196,000 jobs last month, bouncing back from weak hiring in February as unemployment held steady at 3.8%.
  • Sectors that feed goods into freight transport networks looked weaker: factories cut 6,000 jobs, the first decline in the sector since July 2017, Retail payrolls plunged by 11,700 as the service-sector expansion slowed.
  • The overall pace of logistics hiring slowed during the first quarter. Trucking companies, parcel-delivery firms and warehouse operators together added 144,500 jobs over the 12-month period ending in March, down from 167,200 in the 12 months through February and 191,200 through January.
  • North American heavy-duty truck orders plunged 66%last month compared with March 2018.

SOURCE: wsj.com, 4/5/19

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