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Rail News: Labor

Class I workforce shrinks for first time in 2006

After increasing each month in 2006’s first half, the total number of U.S. Class I employees decreased in July. As of mid-July, the large roads employed 165,606 people, a 1.2 percent decline compared with mid-June’s level, according to Surface Transportation Board data. However, the Class Is’ ranks rose 2.2 percent compared with July 2005’s total employment.

Transportation (train and engine service) staff posted the largest month-over-month loss, dropping 2.7 percent to 69,001 compared with mid-June’s total. But the workforce segment rose 2.3 percent compared with July 2005 data.

Transportation (other than T&E), maintenance of equipment and stores, and maintenance of way and structures ranks also shrunk on a month-over-month basis, decreasing 0.9 percent to 7,320, 0.4 percent to 29,920 and less than 0.1 percent to 35,455, respectively, compared with mid-June’s totals.

Meanwhile, the total number of executives, officials and staff assistants increased 0.7 percent to 9,847, and professional and administrative staff rose 0.3 percent to 14,063 compared with mid-June.

On a year-over-year basis, the ranks of executives, officials and staff assistants increased 3.8 percent, maintenance of way and structures workers rose 3.6 percent, professional and administrative staff went up 2.7 percent, and transportation (T&E) employees increased 2.3 percent compared with July 2005 levels.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/8/2006