A steady increase of jobs has swayed the trucking industry close to pre-recession employment levels. Due to industry conditions, however, the driver shortage persists.
U.S. trucking companies added around 2,400 jobs in January. These numbers represent a 3.5% increase from last January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 100,000+ for-hire trucking companies added 11,900 jobs in December, up from last year’s 7,300 jobs.
This increase means that shippers are eager to secure truck capacity. The demand for drivers is high, and this demand is not always met. The driver shortage even expands beyond U.S. border and affects countries worldwide, especially those in developed first-world countries.
The current trucking economy is creating a demand that the industry simply can’t handle. The fourth quarter real gross domestic product (GDP) experienced a 2.6% increase. Manufacturing activity is also increasing so far in 2015 according to the Institute for Supply Management. Finally, truck tonnage rose 3.5% in 2014.
Analysts suggest that the trucking industry is short 30,000-35,000 drivers in current economic conditions. This number is expected to increase exponentially if the economy continues to expand at even a modest rate.