Trucking ‘bloodbath’: 3,500 truck drivers lose jobs in December

Trucking ‘bloodbath’: 3,500 truck drivers lose jobs in December

4 mins read
  • The trucking industry has been in a recession beginning in early 2019. Truck drivers have seen job losses and pay cuts since then. 
  • In the first half of the year alone, some 640 trucking companies went out of business, according to Broughton Capital. That’s more than twice the failures seen in the first half of 2018. 
  • After a cut of 1,000 jobs in November, the trucking industry has slashed another 3,500 jobs, according to the monthly jobs report released by the US federal government.
  • In total, 6,600 truck drivers lost their jobs in 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The trucking industry slashed 3,500 payrolls in December, according to the most recent jobs report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Industries related to trucking also struggled last month. Some 2,200 workers in warehousing and storage lost their jobs in December, while a whopping 12,000 payrolls were slashed across manufacturing.

In total, 6,600 truck drivers lost their jobs in 2019, according to the BLS numbers.

Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research, said America’s $800 billion trucking market has been in a recession since the fourth quarter of 2018. Manufacturing, which tracks the trucking industry, has contracted for five straight months, and marked its lowest output since the recession last month.

That 2019 downturn was reflected in the number of big rigs purchased, too. According to freight research firm FTR, companies in North America ordered 64% fewer trucks in 2019 compared to the year before. They ordered the fewest number of trucks since 2010.

Experts said that 2020 is likely to be more of the same. “We had more carriers losing their authority in the fourth quarter than any other quarter (on record),” Avery Vise, the vice president of trucking at FTR, told Business Insider. “There’s no reason to think that’s going to stop on a dime.”

Read more: A recession slammed trucking last year — and experts predict that 2020 will bring more bankruptcies and plunging truck orders 

In the first half of the year, about 640 trucking companies went bankrupt, according to industry data from Broughton Capital LLC. That’s more than triple the number of bankruptcies from the same period last year — about 175.

Here’s the number of truck transportation jobs added or removed in 2019:

  • January: 19,100 trucking payrolls added; 1,516,000 total 
  • February: 100 added; 1,516,100 total
  • March: 1,200 removed; 1,514,900 total
  • April: 2,300 added; 1,517,200 total
  • May: 1,800 added; 1,519,000 total
  • June: 1,900 added; 1,520,900 total
  • July: 300 removed; 1,520,600 total
  • August: 5,100 removed; 1,515,500 total
  • September: 2,900 removed; 1,512,600 total
  • October: 700 added; 1,513,300 total
  • November: 1,000 removed; 1,512,300 total
  • December: 3,500 removed; 1,509,400 total

Are you a truck driver who has struggled in 2019? Email the reporter at rpremack@businessinsider.com.

Read more about the trucking recession:

Thousands of truck drivers lost their jobs in the 2019 trucking ‘bloodbath.’ Here’s why the $800 billion industry dipped into a recession.

A truckload giant just filed for bankruptcy, and it leaves nearly 3,000 truck drivers jobless

Truckers can’t pay off their fuel cards — and it’s a ‘sure sign’ that more trucking bankruptcies are coming

‘I don’t know how long I can stay in business’: Truckers’ fears have soared to recession-level highs

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