The sheer number of drivers required to move goods makes it all the more difficult to find an adequate supply. In Canada, there are more than 300,000 truck drivers in Canada, including those in the for-hire segment and those in private trucking. This means that nearly 1% of the Canadian population and more than 1.5% of the labor force are employed as truck drivers.
Consultants CPCS Transportation forecasts a shortage of 33,000 drivers as early as 2020 and in 2016 forecast that the shortage would grow to 34,000 drivers by 2024. This takes into account 25,000 extra drivers needed and the loss of about 9,000 during the period. The Canadian Transportation Agency estimates that the shortage could increase to 48,000 drivers depending on demand, labor productivity and how attractive the occupation is seen in coming years.
The average driver is likely to be older than 49 by 2024, up from 47.1 in 2014 and 44.1 in 2006. About 17,000 drivers are aged between 60 and 65. As in the general labor force, there is also a glut of drivers aged between 45 and 54. While the overall labor force has a corresponding glut of workers aged 25 to 34, the younger generation is not as represented among drivers. The share of young drivers aged 25 to 34 dropped from 18% in 2006 to 15% in 2011. In contrast, the proportion of drivers aged between 55 and 64 rose from 17% to 22%. Immigrants account for one in five drivers but their share is still below that of the overall workforce. Just 0.5% of drivers are non-permanent residents, although such individuals account for 1.1% of the workforce.
As the ratio of younger to older workers continues to increase in the overall labor force, it is clear that the trucking industry will have to reverse this trend rapidly.
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