Despite months of pay increases and the strongest freight market in recent memory, the number of jobs in the truck transportation sector fell in April according to one benchmark, though it rose by another measuring stick.

The monthly employment report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday showed that seasonally adjusted jobs in the truck transportation sector fell by 1,500 to 1,480,300 from a revised March figure of 1,481,800. The revision in that March number had taken it down from the previously reported 1,482,700.

There also was a revision in the February figure for seasonally adjusted jobs, which becomes the final number; the BLS numbers are subject to revision for two months after they are first released. February truck transportation jobs came in at 1,478,400 seasonally adjusted jobs, down from the most recent preliminary figure of 1,479,400. 

Although most economists look to the seasonally adjusted figures as most indicative, the not seasonally adjusted numbers did show growth in jobs in April. The BLS reported 1,465,100 jobs in that category, up from 1,461,000 in March. The final February figure was 1,453,500 jobs, showing a significant growth in not seasonally adjusted jobs for April of almost 12,000 positions.

Warehousing and storage jobs, which had been on a straight upward move, showed another decline. On a seasonally adjusted basis, they came in at 1,405,600, down 4,300 jobs from the 1,409,900 jobs of March. That March number in turn had been significantly cut from the earlier estimate of 1,414,300 jobs. 

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, warehouse jobs took an even bigger hit, declining to 1,397,100 jobs from 1,411,000 in March. The March number in turn was less than the “final” February figure of 1,416,300 jobs, suggesting that on a not seasonally adjusted basis, employment in warehousing and storage is down close to 20,000 jobs. However, on a seasonally adjusted basis, it is still well over last year’s April figure of 1,237,700 jobs. 

Courier and messenger jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis plummeted by 77,400 jobs to 1,009,000, down from 1,086,400 jobs. The drop on a not seasonally adjusted basis was even more severe, falling below the million jobs mark to 939,700 jobs from 1,036,400. 

Rail jobs continued their steady decline. On a seasonally adjusted basis, they were down to 142,300 jobs, a drop of 100. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, they were flat at 143,000 jobs.

FreightWaves will have continuing coverage of this story later Friday.

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