Builders and pro dealers who are reporting a shortage of skilled tradesmen can put some of the blame on the trucking industry, which is heavily recruiting construction workers, according to a report by Prime Inc., a refrigerated, flatbed and tanker trucking company.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) is conducting a national driver recruitment campaign in order to employ a Global Insights predicted shortage of 111,000 drivers by 2014 in the trucking industry. The campaign focuses on increasing its pool of driver applicants by appealing to those who became unemployed during the housing slump. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), an estimated 1.4 million residential construction jobs were lost between April 2006 and October of 2011.
The ATA estimates that at the current trends, the driver shortage could balloon to as much as 239,000 drivers by 2022. In addition, the ATA estimates that 96,178 drivers will be needed every year over the next 10 years to account for the shortage. “The transition of individuals from other industries into trucking can play a large role in bridging the gap on the driver shortage,” the report stated.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in the construction industry remains at low levels because of the 2007-09 recession, and employment in most construction occupations is not expected to reach pre-recession levels. The most recent Engineering News Record Construction Industry Confidence Index (CICI) survey showed a six-point drop, registering 50 on a scale of 100.
Companies such as Prime are promoting trucking jobs as a source of steady employment and excellent employee benefits. The company also offers incentives designed to promote safety, on-time service, fuel consumption, tractor maintenance and training.