(James Jaillet – Commercial Carrier Journal)
A lengthy study recently published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics concludes that, from a true economics perspective, there’s little evidence supporting the widely publicized notion that there’s a driver shortage in the trucking industry. Any perceived shortage is isolated to long-haul truckload fleets, argues the study from BLS, the U.S. Department of Labor’s research wing.
The issue, BLS contends, is more one of driver retention rather than a shortfall of people willing to work as truck drivers. The agency acknowledges the market for drivers has been tight for decades, but says that there’s no “evidence of a secular shortage,” referring to a shortage persisting long-term as opposed to temporary or cyclical.
“As a whole, the market for truck drivers appears to work as well as any other blue-collar labor market, and while it tends to be ‘tight,’ it imposes no constraints on entry into (or exit from) the occupation. There is thus no reason to think that, given sufficient time, driver supply should fail to respond to price (wage) signals in the standard way,” BLS summarizes in its report, “Is the U.S. labor market for truck drivers broken?” Click here to read more.
ATA Statement on Flaws in Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Driver Shortage Article
OOIDA Foundation Issues Information it Says Debunks Driver Shortage ‘Myth’ (Trucker.com)
Video: Why the U.S. is Going to Run Short of Truck Drivers (Bloomberg)
Trucking Companies Are Hiring Felons to Fill Thousands of Driver Openings (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)