After a big drop in truck driver employment when the pandemic hit America’s shores, the trucking industry has done a great job of roaring back. Job numbers steadily climbed, as truck drivers ended furlough, regained jobs, and new drivers entered the industry.
Additionally, the so-called “truck driver shortage” has been a stated industry problem for trucking companies for longer than the pandemic existed. So as the pandemic waned, we began to hear more about the shortage as more drivers became needed.
New CDL training programs popped up. The industry lobbied for more foreign workers and interstate drivers under the age of 21. And most importantly, trucking companies began to raise wages and offer more benefits.
A post-pandemic optimism was felt in the industry as truck drivers were offered hefty sign-on bonuses, and many drivers enjoyed more home time and unprecedented work/life balance.
That’s great for drivers, and trucking companies were happy as employment numbers rose throughout 2021 and then settled in 2022.
Unfortunately, this optimism is not all that it seems in the world of trucking.
According to the latest employment report from the US Labor Department, the trucking industry in September saw 11,400 drivers exit their employment in the trucking industry.
This is the largest decrease of drivers in a single month since April 2009.
The price of fuel could be one culprit, along with other pre-recession effects of inflation. But whatever the reason, it’s clear that the trucking industry has much more work to do to attract old and new drivers back to the job.
Hopefully, we’ll continue to see wages and benefits rise to meet the challenge. If you’re an aspiring truck driver or a lapsed truck driver looking to rejoin a high-paying industry, sign up on Class A Drivers, and we’ll connect you with the trucking companies looking to hire drivers like you.