Your Lying Eyes

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28 February 2006

Seis Días en El Camino

According to the Times, Truckers are faced with a current shortage of 20,000 drivers due to retirements and stricter work rules.
Faced with what trucking experts describe as the worst labor shortage in the industry's history, recruiters like Ms. Cromer are canvassing cities and holding job fairs. To meet the growing need, some carriers are turning to new sources of labor like women, retirees and especially Hispanics. "The industry realizes that Hispanics are the fastest-growing population in the country, and they're eager to tap into them," said Ms. Cromer, who works for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a community group in Philadelphia that joined forces in 2004 with the Truckload Carriers Association to begin recruiting more Hispanics into long-haul trucking.
They're still required to speak and read English to get a federal license. You read this stuff and you get awfully skeptical after awhile - is this a real labor shortage, or is this another industry enviously eyeing that economical Latino labor market? Is truck driver to be added to the list of jobs that "Americans just won't do."

Acknowledgements: Story via Drudge, translation via


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stepped-up federal licensing requirements pushed quite a number of drivers out of the field when they took effect some years back. One would think, however, that the problem should have corrected itself by now. I too am somewhat suspicious of this labor "shortage," not quite enough to claim that it's bogus, but there's room for doubt.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

February 28, 2006 10:09 AM  
Blogger Steve Sailer said...

Didn't the prof say back in Econ 101 that there's no such thing as a shortage?

Yet, my entire life, I've been reading about, for example, The Nurse Shortage. Why don't they just pay them more?

February 28, 2006 11:09 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

It sounds like with the truckers they have to pay more for trucking because new work rules have reduced the # of hours they can drive daily, and there's no way around that. The trucking companies probably just can't bear to see their costs increase and so are trying to increase the supply of drivers to keep salary costs steady. The article quoted an average salary of ~$39, which is less than a starting teacher in NJ, a far better job to have.

March 01, 2006 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hispanic truck drivers will work longer hours and are willing to hustle for less money. Can you imagine a 45 year old Teamster willing to do that. The issue is money. I wonder how accidents & saftey are effected?

March 01, 2006 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet, my entire life, I've been reading about, for example, The Nurse Shortage. Why don't they just pay them more?

Speaking as the husband of a newly minted RN, I can tell you that the pay is very good. Hospitals in the northeast are paying starting salaries in excess of $60K. Nursing homes are paying even more, as the work is considered less desirable. There may be some regional variations, but probably not much given the easy transferability of licenses. And keep in mind that an RN education can be completed in two years of full-time study after high school, though many get bachelor's degrees or (as in my wife's case) study part-time while working other jobs. It's not surprising that nursing is attracting quite a few midlife career changers.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

March 01, 2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Well, that is how it should work. I guess when they talk about a shortage we can be sure that someone's got an agenda.

March 01, 2006 6:33 PM  

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