For decades there has been a consistent narrative in the trucking industry about there being a driver shortage. According to the American Trucking Associations, for example, there will be a shortage of 174,000 drivers by 2026 if current trends continue. However, a new study conducted by Stephen V. Burks and Kristen Monaco titled “Is the U.S. labor market for truck drivers broken?” (Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2019) reaches a different conclusion:
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 signals in the standard way. The persistent issues localized in the [long-distance truckload] segment are not visible in the aggregate data and require a distinct analysis.
So, is the truck driver shortage a myth or a reality? Watch the short commentary then post your perspective!
For related commentary, see Truck Driver Shortage: Getting Better, Worse, or No Problem at All? and Driver Shortage in Trucking: Time for Plan B