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CareerCast: “Truck driver” among toughest jobs to fill

Yet long-term demand for truck drivers not as steep as for healthcare workers, report says.

A new report compiled by employee recruitment firm CareerCast indicates that the position of truck driver is one of the 10 toughest U.S. job openings to fill at the moment, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting a need for over 108,400 additional truck drivers by 2026.

CareerCast said it compiled its “10 toughest jobs to fill” list based on open positions being the most “aggressively pursued,” factored in along with BLS forecasts, trade and professional association data, graduation rates, and the firm’s own analysis of its job listings database.

Factors driving demand vary, CareerCast stressed, as do causes behind employers having difficulty filling positions. Not enough people with the skills to do the job, a lack of new graduates in the profession, and industry growth are among the reasons certain jobs are harder to fill than others, the firm noted.

For example, while the positions of “truck driver” and “construction laborer” possess two of the lower growth outlooks on the “10 toughest jobs to fill” list, at 6% and 12% respectively, both are “in very high immediate demand” due to “employment and skills gaps,” CareerCast said.

According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), since more than 70% of goods consumed in the U.S. are delivered by truck and freight demand is rising, the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers.

CareerCast's 2018 “10 Toughest Jobs to Fill” list:

Profession

Annual Median 
Salary

Growth Outlook

Employment Change 
Through 2026

Application Software Developer

$100,080

31%

+255,400

Construction Laborer

$33,430

12%

+150,400

Financial Advisor

$90,530

15%

+40,400

Home Health Aide

$22,600

47%

+421,200

Information Security Analyst

$92,600

28%

+28,500

Medical Service Manager

$96,540

20%

+72,100

Nurse Practitioner

$107,460

31%

+64,200

Personal Care Aide

$21,920

39%

+777,600

Physical Therapist

$85,400

28%

+67,100

Truck Driver

$41,340

6%

+108,400

The company noted that the healthcare industry is where job openings will be most prevalent and demand for workers high, as it is home to five of the 10 toughest jobs to fill this year, with growth rates highest for Home Health Aides (47%), Personal Care Aides (39%), and Nurse Practitioners (31%).

Yet low pay – a perennial problem where truck drivers are concerned – is one reason the healthcare industry is dealing with a worker shortage. Though demand for Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides translates to almost half-a-million and three-quarter-million new positions in each field, respectively, in less than a decade's time, CarrerCast noted in its report that the low pay for those professions – $22,600 and $21,920 in terms of average annual salaries, respectively – may play a big part in why there are so many unfilled jobs for those workers.

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