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Rail News: Labor

U.S. Class I workforce widened in August


The U.S. Class I workforce continued to grow last month. As of mid-August, the large railroads employed 167,988 people, up 0.5 percent from July's level and 2.8 percent from August 2013's mark, according to Surface Transportation Board employment data.

On a month-over-month basis, the maintenance-of-way and structures workforce was relatively flat at 37,329 (down less a tenth of a percent), while the number of professional and administrative staff members declined 0.4 percent to 14,311 and number of transportation (other than train and engine) workers dropped 0.7 percent to 6,697.

But the other three workforce segments posted gains compared with July levels, led by transportation (train and engine) at 1.1 percent, up to 69,499. The number of maintenance of equipment and stores employees grew 0.6 percent to 30,151, and the number of executives, officials and staff assistants increased 0.3 percent to 10,001.

On a year-over-year basis, only the transportation (other than T&E) segment posted a decline, tumbling 1.2 percent. The maintenance-of-way and structures workforce inched up only 0.2 percent compared with August 2013 figures, but the other four segments registered large gains: transportation (T&E), 5 percent; maintenance of equipment and stores, 2.8 percent; professional and administrative staff, 1.9 percent; and executives, officials and staff assistants, 1.8 percent.