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Rail News: Labor

U.S. Class Is enlist more workers in March, STB data shows


The U.S. Class I workforce expanded again in March — albeit by a miniscule amount — but remained below last year's level. As of mid-March, large railroads employed 163,430 people, up 0.2 percent vs. February's total and down 2.1 percent from March 2007's level, according to Surface Transportation Board data. The workforce previously inched up 0.1 percent between mid-January and mid-February.

The transportation (other than train and engine) workforce totaling 6,637 in mid-March posted the largest drops, falling 1.7 percent compared with mid-February's count and 7.9 percent compared with March 2007's total. Executives, officials and staff assistants totaling 10,095 declined 0.2 percent month over month and 0.9 percent year over year, while professional and administrative staff totaling 13,701 decreased 0.9 percent vs. mid-February's level and 1 percent vs. March 2007's count.

Transportation (train and engine) ranks in mid-March stood at 68,074, up 0.4 percent month over month but down 3.7 percent year over year. The maintenance-of-way and structures workforce totaling 34,587 rose 0.9 percent compared with mid-February's count but remained down 0.3 percent year over year.

Finally, maintenance of equipment and stores ranks totaled 30,336, inching up 0.1 percent from mid-February's level and declining slightly (by 0.2 percent) from March 2007's count.