FTR Driver Labor Index ticks up
July 9, 2012
The weak labor market is keeping the Driver Labor Index elevated. The FTR Driver Labor Index rose just 0.1% in June after rising 0.6% in May. The year-over-year gain accelerated once more and rose 1.3%, the best growth in at least 2 years. A modest increase in the labor force and a drop in retail jobs led to an uptick in the index. A rising index indicates a larger pool of possible people to hire/train as drivers.
June continued the recent string of year-over-year gains and was the best showing in at least 2 years. Following a large gain in May that was mostly due to a surge in the labor force there was only a small gain in June. The year-over-year comparisons should continue to be easy for at least the next couple of months as we are comparing to a weak period in the middle of 2011.
U.S. employment situation
Employment noticeably weakened during Q2. After averaging 225k new jobs in Q1, growth has slowed to just 75k over the last 3 months. Employers added just 80k in June and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2%. It hasn’t been below 8% since January of 2009.
Manufacturing added another 11k and has only lost jobs twice since the start of 2010. Construction was weak and failed to make up for the big loss last month. The retail sector was also weak, down 6k. Trucking continued to add jobs, growing by 2k in June.
A rising index indicates that the potential driver pool has increased. A falling index indicates that the potential pool has shrunk. This is a measure of labor participants who are likely candidates to consider trucking or already are. It does not account for tougher driver restrictions that have come into play through CSA.
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