Trucking Industry Continues To Add Jobs
A few months back, I thought about packing my bags and moving on the road. I imagined a world in which every day could bring me new experiences and that I could travel solo to different parts of America. This is the life of truck drivers. It's a life I would gladly give up my life for. I was excited to experience different weather conditions throughout the year while earning a living for my work. But, I am beginning to question the truck driver's job duties and the sacrifices they make in their work.
When I discovered that truck driving was an emerging industry trend, I was able to consider becoming a truck driver. We will examine the economic growth and the job trends. We will also attempt to determine if the recent rise in trucking employment opportunities is an indication of a job market opening or if it is related to socioeconomic factors.
- In order to determine if truck driving jobs are a sign of an improving economy, we will first compare the social and economic trends.
- We will examine the regulations and responsibilities for truck drivers, as well as the economic condition in relation to supply and demand.
- We will talk about why we think the opening of trucking jobs is a sign that the economy has improved.
The Truck Driver...
To move U.S.-regulated cargo across the United States, a truck driver must have a special license. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates truck driver hours to restrict hours of driving. Drivers cannot work for more than 14 hours straight. 11 hours of driving time can be allowed while the remaining hours can be used for other work-related tasks. Drivers can also only drive 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in a single week. The US Department of Labor has set these restrictions in an effort to make truck driving safer. These regulations are still quite demanding. Long-haul truck drivers often have to travel for days or weeks.
According to Trucking.org, there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States and the industry employs over 8.7M truck drivers. The majority of the 3.5 million U.S. truck drivers are between 45-55 years old. This can indicate that truck drivers may reach retirement age in a few years. It can also lead to an increase in the need for drivers.
According to the Department of Labor Statistics, the turnover rate and shortage of truck driver workers are higher than for other occupations. USA Today published an article that discussed how this shortage is affecting other areas of the economy. Different trucking companies have responded to the increased demand for truck drivers by increasing their visibility to the public (creating websites and free training programs to announce job opportunities), as well as raising the pay.
Trends and Facts about Trucking in the USA
The Trucking industry has been a successful one, despite the high turnover and government regulations. A significant proportion of the freight business is handled by truck drivers. Trucks account for 69 percent of the cargo (or total United States Freight Tonnage) that is moved in the freight industry. The four main categories of truck drivers responsible for transporting goods are general freight trucking (or total United States freight tonnage), specialized freight trucking (or wholesale trade), and manufacturing. Truck drivers are responsible for shipping the majority of the most in-demand products in the United States, and the trucking industry is an important economic driver.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010, the projected growth in truck driving occupations was 21 percent. This is more than any other occupation. Trucking also grew by a substantial percentage in 2012. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase in trucking jobs can be attributed to both the changing economy and the increasing demand.
Other factors, such as the social and economic trends in the United States, may influence the availability of truck driving jobs. These include the aging and high turnover rates of truck drivers as well as the time constraints and restraints associated with long-haul truck driving.