There will be a shortage of nearly 50,000 truckers in the United States by the end of this year, according a new report by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). That’s up from a shortage of 30,000 drivers just two years ago and 20,000 drivers a decade ago.
American businesses need truck drivers to move goods around. And not having enough of them affects daily deliveries of everything from essentials like food and gas to supermarkets and gas stations to online Amazon orders to people’s homes.
It’s a job that cannot be shipped overseas and has the potential to drive the cost of goods higher and ultimately hurt the U.S. economy.
No wonder businesses are willing to pay up for it.
Trucker compensation has been going up 8% to 12% a year in recent years, according to Bob Costello, chief economist at the ATA. That’s a lot higher than wages for the rest of Americans, which have barely budged recently.
The median annual wage for a trucker that works for a private fleet, such as a truck driver employed by Walmart, is $73,000, according to ATA.
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