A couple of days ago, a headline on CNNMoney.com announced that the trucking industry has 200,000 job openings. I didn’t think much of it because trucking isn’t exactly a green job. Then the topic came up on Wolf Blitzer’s "The Situation Room," and Jack Cafferty even dedicated his question to viewers to the topic. The sudden attention to the topic definitely piqued my interest.
On Tuesday, David Heller of the Truckload Carriers Association told CNN that there were about 200,000 jobs open in the trucking industry. Unemployment is stagnating above the 8 percent mark, but here sit 200,000 open jobs. That doesn’t sound logical.
It’s not just that there are hundreds of thousands of open jobs now, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects trucking industry jobs to increase by 20 percent in this decade. With this many jobs sitting vacant, it looks like trucking is going to be a high-demand career until at least 2020.
So why are there so many trucking jobs open? This was one of the big issues covered in the CNNMoney.com article, Tons of trucking jobs …that nobody wants. Turnover is high in the industry because living life as an over-the-road trucker isn’t easy, especially for drivers with families.
However, that’s not even the first hurdle to filling these open jobs. Long-haul truck drivers must complete a commercial driver’s license (CDL) certification class and this takes both time and money. Unemployment checks certainly aren’t going to foot the bill for a $6,000 CDL class.
The upfront financial cost was the topic of Lynn Alexander’s answer to Jack Cafferty’s question, “With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs?” on "The Situation Room" Facebook page.
“The problem is not wanting to take a job of this nature but when you have been unemployed since 2007 like my husband has due to the housing industry, it takes every dime I earn to support our family, I can not put the money out to pay for all the certifications and so forth.”
This definitely supports the saying, “it takes money to make money.” This also poses a bigger question: what does the trucking industry need to do to draw in more employees and retain these workers for the long term?
Related transportation story: Truck-stop fitness centers help drivers stay in shape
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