Thursday, December 05, 2013

October rail employment up over year ago

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Compiled figures released this week by the Surface Transportation Board show Class I railroads employed 103,103 people in mid-October, up 0.41% from October 2012, but down 134 people, or 0.08%, from the previous month of September.

For the second straight month, STB's compiled data was released later than usual, presumably attributable to the partial shutdown of the federal government occurring through much of October. STB did produce data from individual Class I railroads somewhat earlier than the previous month.

Only three out of six categories gained ground year-over year, including Maintenance of way and structures, up 0.24%, Transportation (other than train and engine), up 1.14%, and Transportation (train and engine), up 1.26%.

Countering those year-over-year gains, Executives, officials and staff assistants declined 0.26%, Maintenance of equipment and stores was off 0.63%, and Professional and administrative fell 0.83%.

Compared with employment in mid-September of this year, the categories were almost fully reversed, with only Transportation (other than train and engine) in the plus column for both year-over-year and from the previous month; the category gained 0.33% in October from the prior month.

The other three monthly gainers included Executives, officials, and staff assistants, up 0.42%; Professional and administrative, up 0.36%, and Maintenance of equipment and stores, up 0.08%. Slipping from mid-September were Maintenance of way and structures, down 0.08%, and Transportation (train and engine), down 0.37%.