Friday, August 20, 2010

Train crews called back as traffic increases

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The U.S. Class I railroad workforce grew to 153,046 in July, up 1.76% from July 2009 and 1% from June 2010. But those figures do not reflect the extent of railroad traffic growth, which on a revenue ton-mile basis was up 6.4% in this year’s first six months.

For that, analysts must examine the train operating crew numbers. This is the biggest single employment category, and its numbers rose to 60,4348 in July, up 6.4% from July 2009 and up 1.35% from June 2010.

The biggest year-over-year employment decline in July was in the category of executives, officials, and staff assistants, where the July number, 9,024, was down 3.82% from June, though up 0.49% from June 2010. Maintenance of equipment and stores declined to 28,039 in July, down 1.23% from July 2009 and also down 0.07% from June 2010.

Professional and administrative employment was 13,999 in July, up 1.14% from July 2009 and up 4.61% from June 2010.

Maintenance-of-way employment, 34,998, was off 1.22% from July 2009 and up 0.3% from June 2010.

The Class I employment index, which is based on same-month1967 as 100, shows that employment still trails pre-recession 2008. Theindex was 24.6 in July, compared with 24.1 in July 2009 and 26.4 in July 2008.