Uptick in rail employment between July and August

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Association of American Railroads reported rail traffic for the week ending Oct., 24, 2020.
David C. Lester

For nearly a year, RT&S and other news outlets have reported continuous annual and monthly declines in rail employment. As the pandemic has impacted business activity and PSR has resulted in the need for resources, the rail employment picture has been bleak.

Employment levels right now are still behind what they were last year, but Freightwaves is reporting a slight uptick in rail employment during the month of August compared to July – +0.46%. The reason for this is a small (3%) increase in intermodal traffic in August 2020 compared to August 2019.

The small employment increase mostly impacted employees in Train & Engine (T&E) roles with an increase of 3.3% (July to August).

While these numbers are small and do not reflect major changes, it is encouraging that intermodal traffic was up slightly in August, and a the T&E employment numbers, even though less than half a percentage point, indicates that the employment picture could be improving, or at least stabilizing.

Categories: Class 1, Freight, Intermodal, Railroad News
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