National job bank Careerbuilder.com ranked heavy-duty truck driving number 18 on its list of the top 25 jobs for 2006. The survey, which represents 8 million new jobs and 40% of total job growth over the next decade, ranked industries ranging from retail sales to teaching assistants based on their need for skilled professionals.
The long-haul, heavy-duty truck transportation industry in the United States is experiencing a national shortage of 20,000 truck drivers, the American Trucking Associations reported in its US Truck Driver Shortage: Analysis and Forecasts. This forecast predicts the shortage of long-haul truck drivers will increase to 111,000 by 2014 if current demographic trends stay their course and if the overall labor force continues to grow at a slower pace.
ATA's leadership in October tasked the organization with developing a national campaign to highlight the value of working in trucking while also recruiting new professionals. Part of the campaign's goal will be to offset current demographic trends limiting the industry's workforce.
If current demographic trends continue, the supply of new long-haul heavy truck drivers will grow at an annual rate of 1.6% in the next decade. But Global Insight, the economic consulting firm conducting the study for ATA, predicts over the next 10 years, economic growth will generate a need for a 2.2% average annual increase in long-haul heavy truck drivers, or 320,000 jobs overall.
Another 219,000 must be found to replace drivers 55 and older who will retire in the next decade, putting total expansion and replacement hiring needs at 539,000, or an average of 54,000 new drivers per year for the next decade.