The shortage of drivers in the US has caused an increase in salary for current and incoming drivers. The average pay for drivers has jumped over 17% from the end of 2013 to $57,000. While the average salary for employment has only increased 2% over the past few years, the trucking industry is seeing continued increases in pay.
There are a few different reasons for the shortage and demand for truck drivers.
The number of truckers that are at retirement age outnumbers the amount of incoming drivers that the industry will be gaining. Companies are waiting to recruit young drivers to replace these outgoing drivers, but this brings about its own challenges. Because interstate laws require drivers to be 21 years old, this eliminates younger candidates that may choose a different career path. Actions have been taken to push for the lowering of the driving age, but a decision has not been reached yet.
Another issue facing the trucking industry is the lack of women in their employee pool. As many women do not see a truck driving job as desirable, they are not standing in line for a driving job. Only 6% of truckers in the US are women. Recruiting efforts need to put part of their focus on placing more women in trucks.
The booming economy has caused an increased demand for truck drivers that are ready to transport goods. Reports say that an all-time high of transported tonnage was reached in January of this year.
The ATA suggests a few solutions to address the shortage of truck drivers in the industry:
- Driver pay increases and more sign-on bonuses
- More at-home time
- Lower the interstate driving age
- Recruit former military
Until some of these actions are taken, companies can expect driver’s pay to continue to rise. Industry leaders need to take action and explore new recruiting efforts that will attract new employees into the trucking industry.