Truckers are getting older. The problem is that they’re not getting younger as well. Before you think we’re talking about time travel or some kind of Benjamin Button-esque condition, consider the role young workers play in an industry. Even highly specialized roles see periodic influxes of young people seeking to make it in a less crowded field and hungry for a challenge. Young people are the ones who drive industries forward, master new technology, and eventually become wizened experts—all of which makes the following statistic stand out:
In other industries, those bars would look more or less equal throughout the decades; we wouldn’t watch one generation—the same generation—dominate each age group over the years. But transportation is different. The average driver is 49 years old and considering retirement.
Meanwhile, millennials, who comprise more than half of the American workforce, don’t seem to be flocking to the industry in droves. As current operators age out and turnover remains high, but demand for transportation continues to grow, we could be looking at a major, developing labor crisis. Fortunately, there are steps fleets can take now to significantly improve their recruitment and retention practices.
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