Fleet Management

U.S. Payrolls Drop; Not as Bad as Expected

March 05, 2010

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While total net payrolls were down by 36,000 in February, compared to a 26,000 drop in January, the rate was not as bad as analysts had expected
. According to reports in the Washington Post, economists were forecasting payrolls to fall in the area of 50,000 or more. Payroll data comes from a recent report by the Department of Labor.

In his weekly economic recap, Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations, said total employment in the private sector was down 18,000 in February, compared to slipping 726,000 in February 2009.

The for-hire trucking segment saw 4,300 jobs eliminated in February, with 16,500 fewer jobs over the last three months, Costello said. Compared to the year-ago month, February had nearly 81,000 less people working in the for-hire trucking industry in February of this year.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry has had a good year so far, boosting employment by 20,000 and 1,000 in January and February, respectively. Costello sites the latest Institute for Supply Management report, which says manufacturing activity grew in February, but it grew at a slower pace than in January. February's activity was at 56.5 percent, compared to 58.4 percent in January. This is still above the 50 percent growth level.

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