There are approximately 1.8 million truck drivers in the United States, and more are needed to drive them. Several states, including Texas, Florida, and New York, have over one thousand truck drivers. However, a few states have fewer than a thousand truck drivers, proving the importance of truck driving. For example, Pennsylvania is home to over one thousand truckers, making it the state with the highest proportion of truckers. Moreover, Florida has 77,500 truck drivers, while Ohio has 71,000.
The American Trucking Association has long warned about the shortage of drivers. This is especially problematic right now, in the midst of a global supply-chain crisis. This argument has been cited in numerous news stories, and executives from publicly traded companies have referenced the “driver shortage” in 45 investor calls in the last month alone. But are truck drivers really suffering? Let’s take a look.
How Many OTR Truck Drivers are There in the US?
Over-the-road truckers are required by law to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and haul freight across the country. They typically spend three to four weeks on the road, sleeping in their truck’s cabin or staying at a hotel or motel. Over-the-road truck drivers must obtain a CDL in order to drive large, heavy trucks in commerce.
Several reasons for the shortage are present. In the United States, there are nearly 3 million truck drivers working. This number includes local, regional, hot shot truckers, and over-the-road drivers. About two million of them are employed as long-haul truck drivers. Whether they’re hauling a single product, a few hundred miles or hundreds, these drivers are critical to the economy.
How Many CDL Drivers are There in the US?
There are roughly 10 million CDL drivers in the US. The industry was deregulated in 1980. Before then, there were fewer than 20,000 licensed interstate trucking companies. Before deregulation, big-rig drivers were members of the Teamsters union and made an average of $100,000 a year in today’s dollars. But deregulation opened the door to a sea of competition. Today, there are more than 10 million CDL drivers in the US, with about 3.5 million jobs requiring a CDL.
While there is a growing demand for licensed truck drivers, there are also many drivers with less training and education. For example, professional truck drivers are typically older, with an average age of 55. This is higher than the average age for similar jobs in other industries. Despite these factors, truck drivers are able to find better pay and working conditions in other sectors. For instance, warehouse jobs are comparable in pay, and do not require drivers to work seventy-five hours a week. Additionally, drivers will not need to endure long hours and wait in line for bathroom breaks.
How Many People are Semi Truck Drivers?
The trucking industry provides jobs for many different people. About one-third of all truckers work in the Truck Transportation Industry, which is coded 484). This industry employs more than 2 million people, including drivers, mechanics, managers, dispatchers, and nonemployers. Overall, trucking employment is growing at a faster rate than the average for all industries, with a 12% increase from 2012 to 2016.
As of May 2018, there are over 1.7 million people employed as professional truck drivers in the United States. According to the BLS, this number is expected to increase by nearly 250,000 over the next decade, indicating an abundant supply of open truck driving jobs for competent individuals. Despite the high demand for truck drivers, truck driving is a male-dominated field. Ninety-seven percent of the workforce is comprised of men. Compared to other types of workers, truckers are older and have lower educational attainment. Those with bachelor’s degrees make up less than one-fifth of the workforce.
The industry is also racially and gender-biased, with only 2% of women employed in the industry in the last 18 years. The average salary is not competitive with other sectors, which contributes to high turnover and difficulty recruiting new drivers. Currently, women comprise 6.7% of US truck drivers, and 41.5% are people of color. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 7 million people held trucking-related jobs in 2020. And nearly 40% of those who were employed in the industry did not have health insurance or paid sick leave.
What is the Average Age of Semi Truck Drivers?
According to a 2019 report from the American Trucking Associations, the average age of an over-the-road truck driver is 46 years old. However, the average age of truckers just entering the industry is 35 years old. As the trucking industry continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to find younger, highly-skilled, and safe drivers. To this end, the American Trucking Associations are providing more information to trucking companies about the average age of truck drivers.
Although the average age of truckers is nearly 60, they do work longer than the national average. Many of them spend more than 40 hours a week on the road, and are unlikely to see their families for six to eight weeks at a time. As a result, some companies allow truckers to have one passenger, but the age limit is ten or twelve. These drivers are at higher risk for certain health conditions, including sleep apnea, which can cause them to make less careful and safer decisions while driving.
Is There Really a Trucker Shortage?
There is a persistent argument that there is a shortage of truck drivers in the US. This argument has been echoed by the American Trucking Association, the trade group representing big US trucking companies. The association has said for the past several years that there is a nationwide shortage of truckers. They say that this problem dates back to the 1980s, but they fail to mention that store shelves are still full. This argument fails to recognize the basic economics of the capitalist system.
The shortage has several factors. These factors include aging labor forces, the shortage of women drivers, and the pandemic that has decimated the trucking workforce. A lack of qualified applicants is also partly responsible, with many driver training facilities and licensing agencies closing. However, the ATA has made some headway in gaining access to the labor market by successfully lobbying Congress to allow the use of apprenticeship programs for those under 21.
Why are There No Truckers?
The shortage of truck drivers isn’t necessarily due to a lack of qualified candidates. Instead, it is a recruitment and retention issue. While the average age to drive a semi is 21, many aspiring drivers are already working in other jobs. Because of these barriers, it can be difficult to find enough people to fill a large number of trucking jobs. To solve this problem, the ATA has advocated for the government to relax regulations on the industry.
The American Trucking Association reported that there is an 80,000-strong shortage of truck drivers in the US last year. That is a serious shortfall that could result in an extended shortage over the next decade. The shortage has already impacted the supply chain, pushing up prices for a wide range of products. However, it is not only a shortage of truckers in the US. In Europe and China, shortages are widespread. According to the International Road Transport Union (INTU), a survey of 800 transport companies in 20 countries has found that twenty percent of the positions were vacant in the region last year. Although analysts have been warning about this problem for years, recent supply chain disruptions and surges in demand have only made it more acute.
Are Truckers in Demand?
Are semi truck drivers in high demand? It’s the question that many people ask. According to the latest industry data, the trucking industry is experiencing unprecedented demand, with an average pay increase of 7-12% over the last year. At the same time, trucking companies are reporting that employment is rising faster than supply, although it is still below pre-pandemic levels. Still, there are a number of factors that can contribute to a shortage.
The first factor is pay. While many truck drivers believe they earn high salaries, the truth is that truck driving jobs are not as glamorous as they used to be. Combined with long hours and unpredictable problems, truck driving is a demanding career choice. However, if you’re willing to put up with long hours and the prospect of unpaid waiting time, trucking may be a good option for you. If you’re a self-starter, a career as a truck driver is the perfect way to make a good living.
A lack of drivers is not a problem just in the United States. China and Europe have comparable trucking needs and trucking shortages have been documented by the International Road Transport Union. In Eurasia, 20 percent of positions were left unfilled in 2018. This is a problem that analysts have been warning about for years, but the recent pandemic and supply chain disruptions have only made the situation worse. That is why it is so important to find qualified drivers.
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