Transportation Economic Trends

Employment in Transportation:

Annual Employment in Transportation and Related Industries

Employment in transportation and related industries and employment in transportation occupations are two ways to measure the Nation’s transportation workforce. This page highlights the annual employment in transportation and related industries. For monthly employment see the Monthly Employment in the Transportation and Warehousing Sector page.

2022 Year-in-Review

  • An estimated total of 15.8 million persons (10.4 percent of the U.S. labor force) worked in the transportation and warehousing sector and related industries (e.g., automotive manufacturing) in 2022—up 5.0 percent from 2021. In 2022, total employment in transportation reached the highest level since 1990, surpassing 2019. Employment in transportation-related industries and total transportation and related employment for 2022 includes the estimated number of U.S. Department of Transportation workers (based on the average of the previous two years) 
  • Employment in both the transportation and warehousing sector and transportation-related industries increased in 2022 but by less in the transportation-related industries (2.7 percent increase vs. 8.2 percent increase). Employment in the transportation and warehousing sector increased to 6.7 million workers in 2022, up by 8.2 percent from 2021.
  • Ten out of eleven industries in the transportation sector expanded their labor force from 2021 to 2022. Scenic and sightseeing transportation saw the largest increase in employment (34.3 percent), followed by taxi and limousine service (32.0 percent). Employment in warehousing and storage surpassed truck employment for the first time in 2021 and remained above truck employment level in 2022. Pipeline employment saw the only decline in employment (1.2 percent) in 2022. 
  • Among transportation and transportation-related industries, the trucking industry employed the largest number of transportation workers (1.2 million) in 2022. 
  • Almost one-quarter (24.0 percent) of all transportation workers in 2022 are over the age of 55— slightly more than the percent employed in all industries (23.6 percent). Nearly half (42.7 percent) of workers in transit are over the age of 55. 

Total Annual Employment in Transportation and Related Industries

Transportation industries refers to industries in the for-hire transportation and warehousing sector, such as air, rail, water, and truck transportation.
Transportation-related industries refers to related industries outside the sector, such as motor vehicle parts manufacturing and Federal and State Departments of Transportation. 
Transportation employment tends to rise in periods of economic expansion and decline during economic slowdowns when the demand for goods and services and hence transportation services falls. 
Data do not include the self-employed nor independent contractors.

Annual Employment in Transportation and Warehousing by Industry

Industries within the transportation and warehousing sector show different patterns of employment because they face different economic environments and require different mixes of job skills and occupations. Warehousing and storage, the largest subsector, employs the most workers. Some of these workers directly operate motor vehicles while others work in supportive roles.
Data do not include the self-employed nor independent contractors.

Total Employment in Transportation and Related Industries | Employment in Transportation by Industry | Total Employment in Transportation and Related Industries by Type of Occupation | Aging of the Transportation Workforce

Total Annual Employment in Transportation and Related Industries by Type of Occupation

In addition to the transportation and warehousing sector, many industries produce transportation goods (e.g., automobiles) and/or services (e.g., travel arrangements). These industries are known as transportation-related industries. The transportation and warehousing sector and transportation-related industries employ persons in transportation (e.g., truck drivers) and non-transportation occupations (e.g., office clerks).
The industries employing the largest number of workers are not necessarily the industries employing the most transportation workers. For example, the trucking industry employs the largest number of transportation workers but the proportion of transportation workers to non-transportation workers is largest for the urban transit systems transportation. Data do not include the self-employed nor independent contractors.
For transportation employment in non-transportation industries, see employment in transportation related occupations by industry.

Aging of Workers in the Transportation and Warehousing Sector

Many of those working in the transportation and warehousing sector are near retirement, potentially leaving the sector with a large number of vacancies.



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Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at www.bts.gov/product/transportation-economic-trends.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.
Contact us: 
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