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Rail News: Labor

U.S. Class I workforce shrinks in September, STB data shows


In September, the size of the U.S. Class I workforce shrunk by more than one percentage point, the largest drop in months and second-straight month-over-month decline.

As of mid-September, the Class Is employed 162,303 workers, down 1.2 percent compared with mid-August's total, according to Surface Transportation Board data. In addition, the worker count dropped 2.3 percent vs. September 2007's level.

Transportation (train and engine) ranks totaling 66,055 posted the largest month-over-month decline at 2.8 percent. The workforce segment also decreased 4.6 percent vs. September 2007's count.

Professional and administrative staff totaling 13,520 dropped 0.5 percent from mid-August’s level and 1.9 percent from September 2007's total. Likewise, executives, officials and staff assistants totaling 10,077 decreased 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, per month-over-month and year-over year comparisons.

Meanwhile, maintenance of equipment and stores workers totaling 30,144 decreased 0.1 percent vs. mid-August’s count and 0.7 percent vs. September 2007’s total. Transportation (other than train and engine) ranks totaling 6,601 remained flat from mid-August’s level but dropped 5.2 percent from the previous year’s count.

The maintenance of way and structures staff inched up 0.1 percent to 35,906 from the previous month’s total. The workforce segment also increased slightly (by 0.9 percent) compared with September 2007’s level.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/5/2008