As the economy continues to improve, the trucking industry is struggling to meet the increasing driver demands. There simply are not enough American who are properly trained and willing to fill these open truck driver positions. With such a shortage of drivers, trucking companies are forced to turn down loads and certain businesses are suffering because they can’t transport the goods they need.
According to Brenda Cronn of The Wall Street Journal, the mismatch between economic growth and stagnation in available truck drivers is a result of the transforming job market inherent to recovery after a recession. As the job market changes, a skills gap in the workforce emerges and certain jobs become much more difficult to fill. It seems that the trucking industry is experiencing this dilemma with operators around the country in need of over 30,000 long-distance drivers, according to the American Trucking Association.
Another issue contributing to the truck driver shortage is the increasing retirement rate of many experienced drivers. The average age of long-haul truck drivers is 50 and there aren’t enough young people willing to replace them when they retire.
The truck driver shortage in the face of a growing economy has pushed trucking companies to offer better health benefits and create more flexible schedules that minimize time away from home. By providing these extra incentives, trucking companies hope to attract as many new drivers as possible.
Though the hours will still be long and the job requires certain training and skills, truck driving is increasingly a great way to earn a living for anybody with limited educational experience. Few jobs with such good pay and benefits are as easy to find. On top of benefits, the average truck driver makes just under $50,000 a year, an ample salary to save up and support a family.
In the midst of this truck driver shortage, young people looking for work should consider filling the gap and taking advantage of the many lucrative openings in the trucking industry.