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Rail News: Labor

U.S. Class I workforce relatively stable in July, STB data shows

The number of maintenance-of-way and structures workers at U.S. Class Is dipped slightly in July.
Photo – BNSF Railway Co.


In mid-July, U.S. Class Is employed 147,426 people, up a meager 0.1 percent from the count a month earlier and down less than a tenth of a percent from the workforce figure in July 2017, according to Surface Transportation Board (STB) employment data.

On a month-over-month basis, only the maintenance-of-way and structures segment of U.S. Class I's workforce shrank, and slightly at that, declining 0.3 percent to 32,617. The other five segments registered the following gains: transportation (other than train and engine), 1.7 percent to 5,691; executives, officials and staff assistants, 0.4 percent to 8,422; transportation (train and engine), 0.2 percent to 61,891; professional and administrative staff; 0.05 percent to 12,004; and maintenance of equipment and stores, 0.01 percent to 26,801.

On a year-over-year basis, only the transportation (train and engine) category showed growth, expanding 3.9 percent. Professional and administrative staff shrunk 5 percent; the maintenance-of-way and structures workforce declined 3.6 percent; the number of executives, officials and staff assistants decreased nearly 3 percent; the transportation (other than train and engine) worker count dipped 1.7 percent; and the maintenance of equipment and stores employee tally slipped 0.9 percent.

STB data as of mid-July shows Union Pacific Railroad employed 44,605; BNSF Railway Co., 43,063; Norfolk Southern Railway, 25,993; CSX, 20,418; and Kansas City Southern, 3,051. In mid-July 2017, UP had 44,392 workers, while BNSF had 41,741, NS had 26,655, CSX had 22,313 and KCS had 2,976.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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