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Trucking companies need more drivers due to strong economy

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PHOENIX — If you’re currently out searching for a job, one industry has a big “Help Wanted” sign out right now.

“The American Trucking Association says we have about 50,000 drivers nationwide right now,” said Tony Bradley, the president of the Arizona Trucking Association.

“But with the economy doing well right now, it looks like we’re going to need a lot more in the years to come. That number is expected to jump into the hundreds of thousands in the next ten years or so.”

Bradley says there are a number of reasons why there’s a shortage of truckers.

One is that the industry is losing drivers to retirement. He also says that when the economy’s good, the trucking industry and the construction industry compete for workers.

“So when construction is going well, the two industries are competing with one another for that labor pool.”

He says the average pay for truckers is around $45,000 a year, but some drivers can make as much as $100,000. He says trucking schools are training drivers, and trucking companies are offering incentives to hire people.

“Many companies offer signing bonuses, training bonuses, and safety bonuses,” Bradley said.

Bradley says this is a good time to be looking for a job as a truck driver.

“With this market, truck drivers can demand a lot in terms of benefits and compensation,” Bradley said. “Freight is so good right now, because the economy is good.

“If you’re a truck driver, the ball’s in your court right now.”

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