Manufacturing output has been showing growth over the past several months but July saw the numbers dip a bit. However, despite the volatile manufacturing sector, commercial trucking continues to move forward and is one the nation’s fastest growing industries.

When manufacturing is up its good news for trucks, but the demand in commercial trucking is so great that even with dips in the manufacturing sector there are still plenty of jobs available to newly trained drivers.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in July for the second time since July 2009, but the overall economy grew for the 38th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business released last week. The growing economy is good news for the commercial trucking sector, ships the vast majority of goods in America.

However, the PMI registered 49.8 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from June’s reading of 49.7 percent, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month following 34 consecutive months of expansion. Commercial trucks ship the majority of manufacturing goods, especially with increased attention being placed on domestic customers.

Despite the dip in manufacturing, the New Orders Index registered 48 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent from June and indicating contraction in new orders for the second consecutive month, but at a slightly slower rate. A New Orders Index above 52.3 percent, over time, generally is consistent with an increase in the Census Bureau’s series on manufacturing orders, trucking officials say.

This is a great time to start a career as a commercial truck driver as nearly 500,000 drivers are expected to be needed over the next decade. However, carriers are often looking for those drivers with professional training and students of the Diesel Driving Academy often complete their program with multiple job offers from carriers desperate to find quality drivers.

ISM’s Production Index registered 51.3 percent in July, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from June and indicating growth for the 38th consecutive month. An index above 51.2 percent, over time, generally is consistent with an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production figures.

“A growing number of comments from the panel this month reflect a slowdown in their businesses and general concern over increasing economic uncertainty,” said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.