The Next Hot Job: Driving Trucks?

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Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- American Trucking Association President Bill Graves discusses the shortage of truck drivers on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers." (Source: Bloomberg)

With a shortage of drivers, let's bring in the president of the american trucking association and joins us now from washington, d.c. there could be a shortage of as many as 240,000 drivers that need to be on the road.

With unemployment where it is, why aren't more people stepping up?

There are a number of reasons.

First of all, it is hard work.

In a lot of instances, it requires you to be away from your family and home for extended times.

The federal government has new, pretty restrictive regulations that demand a certain safety thresholds be met.

Some of the drivers just don't qualify.

We compete with the construction industry which has bounced back a little bit as of late, so we have a lot of competing pressures right now.

During the downturn in the economy a number of years ago, a lot of our people parked riggs, got rid of riggs, reduced capacity dramatically to match up with the economy at the time.

They are pretty cautious right now in terms of rebuilding capacity until we have some assurances the economy is going to be there to support that.

Given what is going on in washington right now, everybody is on pins and needles about what's going to happen.

Let's talk about the decisions that are not been made as a result of the gridlock.

Obviously, we care about freight volume.

While volumes are up, they are up fairly impressively, about 7% year-over-year.

The truth of the matter is all of our capacity and tonnage increases are in three areas -- energy, fracking, automobiles and construction.

We are lagging behind in terms of loads and tonnage on what i would consider to be basic and simmer goods.

There is at this moment a little hesitation on the part of everyone to get reengaged in the economy because we are so unsure of what the federal government's actions are going to be and how they are going to impact the economy.

Do you blame that on our government problems?

I certainly think it is a big contributing factor.

Everyone has tracked closely this ongoing debate and the inadequacies of folks here in washington to take care of their business.

Until that gets resolved, there's that level of uncertainty.

Despite that, we are showing a shortage of 25,000 or 35,000 today.

We estimate that grows up through 2022 to be over 200,000 drivers.

We are going to need a lot of individuals willing to come into the industry, that qualify as safe drivers, and get them behind the wheel if they're going to move the product that keeps america moving.

Who are these people going to be?

Did you say 200,000 drivers?

That is the gap that is estimated.

We need to fill around 90,000 slots every year between now and 2022 to make sure we have enough people behind the wheel.

We have an aging workforce, we have a lot of individuals that are going to be retiring in the next 10 years, we have about 36% , about one third, where it simply growth in the nation's economy.

More people in this country need more stuff and that means more product has to be moved.

Then there is a third that either voluntarily quit or get asked to leave the industry because they don't qualify as good, save drivers.

There's a combination of factors affecting the pool available to

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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