Trucking employment is also rising quickly to recover from widespread job losses at the start of the pandemic. The number of US drivers rose more than 4.5% year-over-year in February, the fastest growth in the BLS dataset.

Truckers’ wage growth may not last

Trucker pay is rising at a moment when big trucking companies are reporting booming revenues, drivers are in extremely high demand, and employment still hasn’t fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. As conditions return to normal, businesses will have fewer incentives to continue raising pay to attract and retain workers.

Meanwhile, the trucking industry successfully lobbied Congress last year to begin the process of lowering the minimum age to drive interstate trucking routes from 21 to 18. If an initial pilot program succeeds, Congress may open the door for teenage truckers to enter the industry, which drivers’ groups fear will increase accidents and depress wages.

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