Report projects US will lack 175,000 truck drivers by 2024

A recent report from the American Trucking Association (ATA) shows there is an increasing lack of qualified truck drivers in the U.S.

According to the analysis, the shortage has increased to approximately 48,000. This figure is expected to expand as time goes by because of a retiring workforce and growth in the industry. Experts estimate that the shortage will reach 175,000 by 2024.

“The ability to find enough qualified drivers is one of our industry’s biggest challenges,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “This latest report plainly lays out the problem – as well as some possible solutions – to the driver shortage.”

The analysis also demonstrates that during the next 10 years, the trucking industry will be required to hire 890,000 drivers, or an average amounting to 89,000 drivers each year. Approximately 45 percent of these new hires are needed because of retiring drivers leaving the industry.

“An important thing we learned in this analysis is that this isn’t strictly a numbers problem, it is a quality problem too,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Fleets consistently report receiving applications for open positions, but that many of those candidates do not meet the criteria to be hired. According our research, 88 percent of carriers said most applicants are not qualified.”

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