Truck Driver per 1,000 Jobs by State
NO. 11 | CHART FOR THOUGHT
- In recent months, reports have identified a truck driver shortage as one of the bottlenecks leading to inefficiencies in the supply chain. Without effective transportation, the movement of products from ports and manufacturers to users is stymied.
- Difficult working conditions and challenging pay structures plagued the industry for decades, creating extremely high rates of turnover that limit the industry’s ability to retain an efficient workforce. Large fleets have an annual turnover around 90%.
- The highest concentrations of truck drivers are located in the central United States, far away from ports in higher-cost coastal regions, which are experiencing an influx of goods that need to be moved. Arkansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Iowa and North Dakota have the highest concentrations of drivers.
- Higher wages alone won’t solve the issue, as pay did not correlate with worker concentration. New York has one of the smallest concentrations of drivers in the states while paying the fifth-highest wage, $24.80/hour. Alaska’s median hourly wage is the highest in the nation at $28.30, with only 8.2 truck drivers per 1,000 employees.
- Efforts to automate long-haul trucking may create more sustainable situations for drivers and employers, but these solutions will not be fully operational in the near term. Improving working conditions would be the most immediate way to activate and retain trucking’s labor supply and reduce transit-oriented pressures on the supply chain.