Trucking closed out 2012 with 4,200 new jobs added, bringing the year’s total of new hires in the field to 67,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.
New hires in the truck transportation subsector rebounded late in the year after dipping during the summer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports increased hiring every month since August.
Christopher S. Rugaber of the Associated Press writes: “The stable hiring last month shows that employers didn't panic during the high-stakes talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that weren't resolved until New Year's. That's an encouraging sign for the coming months, because an even bigger federal budget showdown is looming. The government must increase its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit by around late February or risk defaulting on its debt.”
The increase in trucking hires to close out the year was modest. The year-end total of approximately 1.33 million employed truckers is slightly lower than the final employment rate of 2011, an estimated 1.34 million.
Projected shortages of 232,000 long-haul drivers in the next decade still provide opportunities in the industry, per the American Trucking Association. However, the long separations from home pose a challenge to companies recruiting new hires.