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Labor Paradox: As Trump Fights For Jobs The Trucking Industry Struggles With ‘Yuge’ Labor Shortage

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Job creation has been a key focus of the Trump administration which has blamed outsourcing to lower cost countries like Mexico and China for the stagnant wages of the middle-class working folks of America’s Midwest.

The only problem with that theory is that certain industries in the U.S. are actually struggling with extreme labor shortages but can’t fill positions either due to skill gaps or an entitled millennial workforce that would rather live in their parents basement for the rest of their life than take a “blue collar” job that doesn’t value their BA in Anthropology.

According to a recent analysis from the American Trucking Association (ATA), the OTR Truckload industry is one area where employers are expected to face a huge labor shortage of as much as 175,000 by 2024.

Per the ATA, replacing retirees accounts for nearly half of the 890,000 new drivers that will need to be hired over the next 10 years.  

Of course, one problem is that, like most other “main street” jobs, real annual wages for truck drivers have actually declined over the past 10-15 years. 

But as Steve Viscelli, a sociologist and fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, points out, the real wage deflation for truck drivers is massively underestimated by the grueling nature of the industry’s owner-operator model that consistently demands more from drivers without pay increases.

Of course, if the following chart from MacroTourist holds true then the whole driver shortage may just work itself out ‘naturally’ over the next couple of years.

And then there are also those pesky robot trucks…


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