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Truck driving job losses may be overstated

The cycle of news lamenting truck driving employment turnover shouldn’t be the only information taken into consideration when weighing the consistency of the profession. Truck driver careers are among the top fields when considering those that are recession-proof, as reported by The Truckers Report.

While there is a driver shortage in 2022, this is due to an ever-growing need for truck drivers. The American Trucking Associations collected data that pointed to a consistent driver shortage, which currently sits at a need of nearly 80,000. In conjunction, however, is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that the need for both heavy duty and tractor-trailer truck drivers will grow 4% in the coming decade. This calls for 90,000 new Commercial Driver Licenses to be distributed and then for each of those 90,000 to become employed with a trucking fleet.

While agencies report on a near-constant driver shortage, many fail to include that the need for drivers is consistently on the rise. The BLS, which attested to a 11,000-driver loss, failed to notate that the trucking industry needs over 250,000 CDL holders to be onboarded through their fleets.

“About 259,900 openings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire,” the BLS stated. “Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States. The need for truck drivers should rise as households and businesses increase their spending and their demand for goods.”

Placed in contrast to the expected growth for the industry, such a mistake by the BLS could be overlooked. The U.S. is dependent on trucks to transport 72% of goods, and most communities fully rely on the industry.

And, it should be clear, that the BLS data is not being pulled into question. Sensational headlines just work against some of the realities of the trucking industry, leaving valuable information out of the catchy titles. The 2020 pandemic had a deep impression on the trucking industry with some retailers overstocking their inventories and not needing to meet those demands. This caused a decrease in the need for truck drivers since mass amounts of stock wasn’t being moved.

Following the pandemic, however, even more has shifted in the trucking industry, making it clear that truck drivers will not be in need of jobs anytime soon, despite any flashy headlines.