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 Find the latest Coronavirus-related transportation statistics on the BTS COVID-19 landing page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Transportation Sector Unemployment Rate Fell to 6.4% in August 2021, Remains Above Pre-Pandemic August 2019’s 4.8%

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The unemployment rate in the U.S. transportation sector was 6.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in August 2021 according to Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The August 2021 rate was down more than 50% from August 2020’s 13 percent but remains above the 4.8 percent rate in pre-pandemic August 2019. To date, the transportation unemployment rate peak during the COVID-19 pandemic is 15.7 percent set in both May and July 2020.


The overall U.S. unemployment rate in August was 5.2 percent (seasonally adjusted), down 38% from August 2020’s 8.4 percent. In pre-pandemic August 2019, the overall U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent. The overall U.S. unemployment rate during the pandemic peaked at 14.4 percent in April 2020.



NOTE: Gray shaded bars in the chart represent periods of economic recession.


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


Analyses 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,