As the national unemployment rate remains at 9.6 percent with Friday's jobs report , there's one part of the U.S. economy that is desperate for workers—or rather, drivers.
According to several trade groups in the trucking industry, there could be a shortage of drivers next year, and the estimates range from 200,000 to as many as 500,000.
At first blush, a person might ask: Who can't drive a truck?
But that is part of the problem.
New regulation is entering the industry, and the higher standards will knock some drivers off the road.
On top of that, Baby Boomers are beginning to retire in large numbers. According to shipping giant UPS, it could lose 25,000 drivers to retirement over the next five years alone.
"We are already seeing a contraction in (driver) supply," said Stephens Inc. analyst Jack Waldo, who added that this is more than a short-cycle issue.
"This is a systematic 5-10 year problem."
Another part of the labor shortage is the uptick in demand. As the economy has moderately recovered, so have freight volumes. Businesses need to expand, and that sparks another leg of driver demand.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page