All Things Political

Trucking Industry Job Outlook

supplemental resource: Job Outlook by Profession

Growth in the truck transportation and warehousing industry reflects ups and downs in the national economy. Job opportunities are expected to be favorable for truck drivers and diesel service technicians.

The number of wage and salary jobs in the truck transportation and warehousing industry is expected to grow 11 percent from 2008 through 2018, equal to the projected growth for all industries combined.

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One of the main factors influencing the growth of the truck transportation and warehousing industry is the state of the national economy. Growth in the industry reflects ups and downs in the national economy. As the national economy grows and the production and sales of goods increases, there is an increase in the demand for transportation services to move goods from their producers to consumers. During economic downturns, on the other hand, the truck transportation and warehousing industry often is one of the first to slow down as orders for goods and shipments decline.

Competition in truck transportation is intense, both among trucking companies and, in some long-haul truckload segments, with the railroad industry. Nevertheless, trucking accounts for the bulk of freight transportation. Warehousing is expected to grow faster than the rest of the industry.

Additional employment growth will result from manufacturers who outsource their distribution functions to trucking and warehousing companies which can perform these tasks with greater efficiency. As firms in other industries increasingly employ the industry's logistical services, such as inventory management and just-in-time shipping, many new jobs will be created. Also, as more consumers and businesses make purchases over the Internet, the expansion of electronic commerce will continue to increase demand for the transportation, logistical, and value-added services offered by the truck transportation and warehousing industry.

Opportunities for most jobs are expected to be favorable, especially for truck drivers. Many people leave the career because of the lengthy periods away from home and the long hours of driving that the job requires. Stricter requirements for obtaining—and keeping—a commercial driver's license also make truck driving a less attractive career. New restrictions on who can obtain or renew their hazardous-material endorsement should increase opportunities for those able to pass the criminal background checks now required. Opportunities for diesel service technicians and mechanics also are expected to be favorable, especially for applicants with formal postsecondary training.

Growth in the truck transportation and warehousing industry should prompt an increase in office and administrative support employment. More dispatchers, stock clerks, and shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks will be needed to support expanded logistical services across the country. Opportunities for those with information technology skills should be excellent.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition

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