On Monday, President Joe Biden gave remarks on the White House’s Trucking Action Plan, an initiative aimed at “increasing the availability of truck drivers” as the country continues to grapple with labor shortages and supply-chain difficulties.
“All of you here today are people our economy should be built around because you all — you all are the ones who actually make it run,” Biden said, speaking from behind a platform located between two huge semi-truck tractors. “That is not an exaggeration.”
“I have no beef with investment bankers. Nothing would change if they all retired at the same time. You all go, and everything comes to a standstill “He went on.
This year, businesses have struggled to find truck drivers, resulting in manpower shortages in an already stressed supply chain. However, other truckers have argued that the industry’s main problem is low pay and work quality, rather than a “shortage” of truckers.
According to Jason Miller, associate professor of supply-chain management at Michigan State University, there is no lack of truck drivers. Instead, truckers, he claims, have changed from working for big carriers to driving for smaller operators or becoming owner-operators themselves.
As a result, several carriers have offered significant sign-on incentives and compensation increases. Walmart stated on Thursday that it is changing its compensation structure so that its private fleet drivers may earn between $95,000 and $110,000 in their first year.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s roughly double the average truck driver’s annual wage of $50,340. According to Axios, the starting wage for a first-year investment banking analyst at J.P Morgan is $110,000.
President Biden stated in his speech on Monday that 2021 will be “the strongest year for trucking employment since 1994,” adding that there are already 35,000 more trucking jobs than there were before the outbreak.
He also acknowledged the challenges that women face in the trucking sector, stating that higher earnings, shorter wait times, and enhanced safety will assist in the recruitment and retention of female drivers.
Biden’s speech did not address the country’s shortage of truck parking, a vital necessity for trucker safety and sleep that drivers claim has gone unnoticed by the White House.