Average driver pay, including bonuses, in the trucking industry rose nearly $6,000 in 2019, from 2017, according to a study from the American Trucking Associations.
The ATA announced Thursday (May 21) the results of the most recent Driver Compensation Study. The study previously was completed in 2017.
“These results show that fleets did exactly what we would expect them to in the face of a tightening market for drivers: they raised pay and increased benefits in order to attract talent,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
The average pay for truckload national, irregular route solo van drivers rose $6,000 to about $58,000 in 2019, from 2017, the study shows.
“We saw large carriers hire more entry-level drivers in 2019, including drivers directly from driver training school, which lowered the average pay for these carriers, but they did not reduce pay rates,” Costello said. “It was just a different driver experience pool.”
Fleets also reported offering large benefit packages to attract drivers, and they included paid leave, insurance, meals and other incidentals and retirement plans. More than 90% of truckload carriers, less-than-truckload carriers and private fleets offered drivers paid leave and health insurance, the study shows.
“What these figures show is that being a truck driver can be a path to a middle-class lifestyle for millions of Americans,” Costello said. “With the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis not yet fully clear, we can say that a career in trucking could be a well-paying solution for some of the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs so far this year.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said the unemployment rate could reach a peak of 20% to 25% in May or June. Since March, nearly 39 million people have been laid off as a result of the pandemic, according to Transport Topics. As of April, the unemployment rate was 14.7%. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in February.
The United States has 1.56 million cases of COVID-19, and 93,863 deaths as a result of the disease, according to the Arkansas Department of Health website. Arkansas has 5,458 cases and 110 deaths. Globally, there are 5.04 million cases and 329,816 deaths.