The unemployment rate in the U.S. transportation sector was 5.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in September 2021 according to analysis of recently updated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the BTS Unemployment in Transportation dashboard. The September 2021 rate was down nearly 50% from September 2020’s 11.3% but remains above the 3.3% rate in pre-pandemic September 2019.
To date, the transportation unemployment rate peak during the COVID-19 pandemic is 15.7% set in both May and July 2020 while the general U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 14.4% in April 2020. Throughout the pandemic, the unemployment rate for the U.S. transportation sector has been higher than the general U.S. unemployment rate with a difference ranging from 0.2 percentage points in June 2021 to 5.2 percentage points in July 2020. With a general U.S. unemployment rate of 4.8%, the gap in September is 0.9 percentage points.