The number of US truck drivers operating is recovering, but a large year-over-year shortfall in the number of trucking employees continues to act as a constraint on available truck capacity. For-hire trucking added 7,700 jobs in November, bringing the number of trucking jobs added since April to 69,300, according to data not adjusted for seasonality released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That equates to about 78 percent of the jobs dropped from trucking’s payroll from February through April.
Shippers and trucking executives are feeling the pain from the employment gap. They say not only is there a driver shortage, but also a shortage of dock and warehouse workers at shipper locations needed to load and unload trailers and prepare shipments as an ongoing capacity constraint causes supply chain chokepoints. “Everybody asks why can’t we move quicker, but our factories can’t get raw materials quickly, and they don’t have the employees they used to have,” Greg Brinkman, vice president of inbound logistics for Bob’s Discount Furniture, said. “They’re dealing with COVID as well. There are lots of opportunities, but we have to get the product to support the demand.”