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How the State of the Union Affects the Trucking Industry How the State of the Union Affects the Trucking Industry
How the State of the Union Affects the Trucking Industry
February 8th, 2019

Over the last two years, the president has implemented federal policies across all industries. These policies have boosted job growth to historic levels. As reported by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, in August 2018 the US economy saw nearly 4 million new jobs. This was over a continued growth span of 94 months since the president was elected. However, the big question on every truck driver and trucking company owner’s mind is whether this growth is directly connected to the trucking industry. Take an in-depth look at the top sectors that are seeing huge economic gains and see how these relate to the trucking sector. Furthermore, find out where the nation’s infrastructure stands in terms of this administration.

Major Industry Growth

In those industries that directly affect the trucking industry—mining, construction, logging, and manufacturing sectors—nearly 1 million jobs alone have been added to the nation’s economy. This is a great help to truck driving jobs since construction crews, mining operations, logging companies, and manufacturers all depend on the trucking industry in some major capacity. The increase in logging jobs for truckers, for example, is a huge improvement for rural and agriculturally based communities that could use the economic gain.

Furthermore, the mining industry is one of the highest paying industries for blue-collar laborers. Workers are earning an estimated salary of $166,000 in 2017, and steadily increasing from $93,000 in 2001 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Truck drivers who work on mining jobs, such as in the North Dakota oil fields, have reported salaries of $170,000 as a solo truck driver. This is typical of team truck driving jobs, but not feasible with most solo driving positions at general freight hauling companies.

To see these types of trucking related industries pick up the pace in the economy equates to a bigger freight demand for trucking companies. As a result, we can anticipate more trucking jobs and better-paying freight loads. This could be a direct economic gain for the trucking industry as the industry at large continues to push forward in training and hiring qualified truck drivers to handle the freight demand.

Effect on the Trucking and Infrastructure

The presidential administration credits the transportation sector including the truck driving industry at large with this economic achievement. As noted by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, “The transportation sector is an integral part of the US economy. It employs millions of people and comprises 8.9 percent of the Nation’s economic activity as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).Along with freight via railroad, air cargo, ships, and pipelines, the trucking industry is instrumental in achieving the nation’s economic GDP goals.

Furthermore, the BTS reports that “transportation equipment and structures (private and public) accounted for approximately 43.2 percent of the total US assets in 2015.” Take a moment to reflect that the transportation infrastructure accounts for nearly half of the nation’s assets. This includes $1.4 trillion in private transportation and trucking equipment, as well as $457 billion in private transportation structures. The remaining $4.1 trillion go toward government transportation structures.

In addition, there were 214,000 businesses listed as transportation and warehousing in 2012. This follows a steady increase over the last few decades. The BTS notes that there was an increase in OTR general freight hauling by 41.4 percent from 1990 to 2016. To be able to accommodate even more economic growth and continue to excel in the transportation sector, the transportation infrastructure must be prioritized. While the president has yet to find the funding for any part of his initial $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, this funding needs to come to fruition.

As addressed by the president in his campaign speeches, the nation’s infrastructure is not up to par when it comes to the modern demands and growing economic surge we are seeing. The travesty would be for our nation to have an excellent economic outlook only to lose steam due to aging highways, bridges, and technologically advanced networks. While the economy is on the upswing, the next big battle of this administration remains with reinvigorating the transportation infrastructure.

Source: US DOT – Briefing Room

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