Since 2021, all fleets have begun to raise wages of their truck drivers. However, can it stop the labor shortage?
US Department of Labor data shows that average weekly earnings in the trucking market have been increasing four to five times faster than the historical average. However, the industry’s hiring boom has not been noticeable.
Marilyn Surber, a transportation consultant at Tenstreet, said wage increases at companies will have small effect, but not as much as they would like. “You have good pay, you have good equipment, but that’s really just the baseline to even hire a driver now,” she said.
“Pay is a major factor of people attraction, but I guess it usually takes somebody to make the suggestion to them: ‘Hey, have you considered trucking?’” said Lindsey Trent, president and co-founder of the Next Generation in Trucking Association. “We’re trying to educate more young people about what kind of living they can make being a truck driver.”
Reasons also include the inability of fleets to hire drivers under the age of 21 for interstate jobs, what encourages candidates to choose other careers.
Transportation executives report that the driver pay increase is well deserved, but it is also necessary to keep up with competitors in transportation and other professions.