Wanted: Transportation and Logistics Workers
Job openings at U.S. transportation, warehousing, reached and utility companies reached 269,000 on April 31. That’s a jump of over 70 percent compared to last year, according to numbers released earlier this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of employees hired by those companies increased only 18.9 percent in April to 189,000, while 165,000 workers left their positions with those same companies, 18.7 percent more than last year.
That means that transportation and warehousing companies filled about 70 percent of job openings in April.
The growth in job openings in the logistics sector shows companies are confident they will be handling more goods in the coming months, an indication of a continued robust recovery. Transportation job openings grew by 28.7 in April over March, the strongest month-over-month increase since January, when job openings rose 36.1 percent over December. Job openings dropped 8.7 percent in February and grew 16.8 percent in March.
Year-over-year increases in job openings in the first quarter of 2015—including a 48.2-percent spike in March—compare to the first quarter of 2014, when a harsh winter contributed to a 2.2 percent decline in gross domestic product. But the April 2015 numbers compare favorably to the start of an economic surge in 2014.
A Federal Reserve System report showed stronger economic growth across the U.S. in April and May.
The truck driver shortage remains a key concern for the logistics sector, according to the recently-released “State of Logistics Report,” from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. The American Trucking Associations estimates the current shortage ranges from 35,000 to 40,000 drivers. The driver turnover rate was a whopping 95 percent on an annualized basis.
It remains to be seen how far and fast the U.S. economy will grow this year. Transportation and logistics companies need to beef up their labor forces to help make it happen.