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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Transportation Sector Unemployment Rate Decreases to 3.6% in December 2021; Remains Above Pre-Pandemic 2.8% of December 2019

Friday, January 7, 2022

Transportation unemployment rate dips below overall rate for first time since COVID-19 pandemic


The unemployment rate in the U.S. transportation sector was 3.6% (not seasonally adjusted) in December 2021 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data recently updated on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Unemployment in Transportation dashboard. The December 2021 rate fell 5.7 percentage points from 9.3% in December 2020 but remains above the pre-pandemic rate of 2.8% in December 2019. Unemployment in the transportation sector reached its highest level during the COVID-19 pandemic (15.7%) in May and July 2020.

The unemployment rate in the transportation sector is now below the overall unemployment rate for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. BLS reports that the U.S. unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, in December 2021 was 3.7% or 0.1 percentage points above the transportation sector rate. Seasonally adjusted, the U.S. unemployment rate in December 2021 was 3.9%.


In addition to the update of the Unemployment in Transportation dashboard, BTS also released its monthly update to its Employment in Transportation: Total, by Mode, and Women, and Race and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity of Transportation Workers dashboards.

Charts Updated this Month by Section include:

Unemployment in the Transportation and Warehousing Sector and in Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Monthly Employment in the Transportation and Warehousing Sector, Establishment Data

Monthly Employment in the Transportation and Warehousing Sector by Race and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity, Household Data

Visit Transportation Economic Trends for more topics.

Contact: Todd Solomon (202) 366-0573,