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Rail News: Labor

STB data: U.S. Class I workforce size fluctuated in late 2013


The U.S. Class I workforce expanded slightly in November, then contracted a bit in December, according to employment data recently compiled and released by the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

As of mid-November 2013, the large U.S. roads employed 163,199 people, up less than 0.1 percent from October's level and 0.3 percent from November 2012's count.

On a month-over-month basis, workforce levels rose in four of six categories: executives, officials and staff assistants, up 0.5 percent to 9,846; professional and administrative staff, up 0.4 percent to 13,868; maintenance of equipment and stores, up 0.3 percent to 29,602; and transportation (train and engine), up 0.1 percent to 66,010. The number of transportation (other than T&E) workers fell 0.6 percent to 6,697 and number of maintenance-of-way (MOW) and structures employees declined 0.3 percent to 37,176.

On a year-over-year basis, the size of the following workforces grew as of mid-November: transportation (T&E), 1.7 percent; transportation (other than T&E), 1.1 percent; and executives, officials and staff assistants, 0.1 percent. The number of MOW and structures workers was flat, number of professional and administrative staff members tumbled 2.3 percent, and number of maintenance of equipment and stores employees decreased 1.5 percent.

As of mid-December 2013, the large U.S. roads employed 162,810 people, down 0.2 percent percent from November's level but up 0.1 percent from December 2012's count, STB data shows.

Compared with November levels, the number of maintenance of equipment and stores workers increased 0.5 percent to 29,744; size of the transportation (T&E) workforce grew 0.4 percent to 66,246; number of executives, officials and staff assistants rose 0.2 percent to 9,862; and number of professional and administrative staff members ratcheted up 0.1 percent to 13,887. The MOW and structures workforce shrank 2 percent to 36,415 and transportation (other than T&E) ranks decreased 0.6 percent to 6,656.

On a year-over-year basis, only two workforces grew as of mid-December: transportation (T&E), at 1.2 percent, and MOW and structures, at 0.4 percent. The transportation (other than T&E) segment declined 1.6 percent, both professional/administrative and maintenance of equipment and stores sectors shrank 1.4 percent, and the executives/officials/staff assistants segment dipped 0.1 percent.