With the holidays upon us and an anticipated increase in the volume of goods being transported across the US every day, we thought it would be a good time to check in on one of our biggest industries. Transportation accounts for the largest proportion of job openings in the LinkUp Index at 24% for October 2017. Within it, trucking is the largest sub-industry within transportation, comprising 73% of the sector’s job openings.
Trucking is unique in the number of employers making up the sub-sector; the largest employer within trucking contains 4% of those jobs, while a single company, Uber, accounts for 93% of job openings within the Transit sub-category.
Here at LinkUp, we frequently analyze sub-industries by comparing short-term job opening growth (“Momentum”), to long-term growth trends (“Growth”). In the Transportation Industry, Warehousing & Storage, as well as Couriers & Messengers are gaining momentum, increasing job openings by more than 30% in October compared to August. We suspect holiday hiring is driving that uptick. The Transit sub-industry was showing strong long-term growth as Uber ramped up its driver pool throughout 2017, but starting this fall, Uber has reduced job openings, possibly indicating they are starting to reach driver capacity, or perhaps are experiencing decreased demand on the heels of some catastrophic PR blunders.
Further exploring the data, we found that job duration, a metric that indicates how quickly jobs are filled, has decreased by 18 days in Trucking, signaling that jobs are being filled more quickly than they were in August. Transit jobs, including app-based ride share services, seem to be taking longer to fill their jobs, with postings staying up 2 weeks longer in October versus August.
Finally, transportation has topped the job opening charts for many consecutive months, and while the increase in listing counts may be leveling out, there’s no reason to think this sector won’t remain the neediest job seeker in 2018. Retail stores’ pain has been the shipping industry’s gain, in many ways, as consumers ditch the mall for doorstep delivery; a trend that’s here to stay. Additionally, a push for tougher rules against truck-driver overtime will probably spur even more demand to keep the wheels turning around the clock. And if you’re thinking that Mr. Musk’s recent unveiling of Tesla’s automated truck will put the brakes on the hiring trend, think again. Drivers may be able to take their foot off the gas and their hands off the wheel, but for now, every big rig still needs a human being in the driver’s seat.