Report: Nearly 5 million transport jobs need to be filled by 2022

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 8/25/2015

In collaboration with industry stakeholders, the U.S. Departments of Education, Transportation and Labor have released a report predicting the job needs of the transportation industry through 2022. More than 2 million jobs in the trucking subsector will need to be filled within the 2012-2022 time frame.

Across the entire transportation industry, approximately 4.6 million people will need to be hired, 1.2 times the current employment number. According to the report, actual employment in 2014 was 4 million. Within the 10-year scope, 4.2 million transportation employees will leave the industry with an additional 417,000 jobs being created.

Simply put, every transport job from 2012 will be left vacant due to retirement, transfers, turnovers or some other means and will need to be replaced. More than 400,000 newly created jobs will also need to be accounted for.

Of those 4.6 million job openings, nearly half will come from the trucking subsector. In terms of percentage, transit and ground passenger transport will have the largest total job openings at 133 percent.

More than half of the employees in the trucking industry are 45 years of age or older. According to the report, most trucking employees retire early. With more than half the subsector nearing retirement age, jobs will quickly open up between now and 2022.

Within the trucking subsector, heavy truck drivers lead in total job openings by a wide margin. Nearly 1.2 million heavy truck driving jobs will open up between 2012 and 2022. In distant second are laborers and freight/material movers at 174,419 job openings.

Job voids were calculated by determining the “separation” of employees. Separation was defined as those transferring from one occupation to another – using current occupation as the baseline – and those exiting completely, either by retirement, death, long-term illness or other means. Between transfers and exits, heavy trucking jobs are expected to experience a total separation of 101.1 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Trucking job openings will vary state-to-state. Only seven states are not expected to experience any job growth in trucking though 2022. South Dakota will suffer the biggest hit in trucking jobs with a 10 percent loss. Conversely, North Dakota is projected to experience the largest growth with a job increase of 62 percent. Texas, California, Wyoming and Minnesota are also anticipated to see a trucking job increase in excess of 20 percent.

Dallas, Chicago, Riverside, Los Angeles and Atlanta are cities expected to see some of the highest growth in trucking jobs. California and Texas have the highest concentration of metropolitan areas with the highest projected job growth. Not surprisingly, major metro areas with dense populations and heavy industry traffic are estimated to see more growth than other areas across the entire transportation industry.

The transportation industry as a whole includes trucking, transit/ground passenger, air, rail, maritime and highway construction and maintenance.

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