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Georgia’s unemployment rate is lowering: Trucking industry provides more jobs

trucksLast month, Georgia’s unemployment rate dipped slightly compared to September, showing high hopes for another dip by the end of November. Last year, the unemployment rate was 5.3%, and since then, the state of Georgia has added 100,000 jobs. This brings the unemployment levels back to pre-recession numbers for the first time since 2007.

Although the unemployment rate is slowly on the decline; Georgia is still behind the national average by 0.2%. And while the number seems small, when you put this into population perspective, this equates to 650,000 more unemployed people in comparison to the rest of the country.

The trucking industry in Georgia is well-equipped to handle additional employees and positively contribute to the decline of Georgia’s unemployment rate. This year, the state added 15,100 trucking jobs, making it the third quickest growing industry in the state, trailing closely behind professional and leisure services and hospitality.

Trucking Jobs On The Rise

Trucking jobs on the rise across the nation have helped more unemployed people find jobs. Positions in Georgia specifically have made it easier to help lower the unemployment rate. This year, by the end of February alone, the trucking industry added 10,600 jobs across the country. Georgia has been particularly steadfast in the transportation industry.

Salary for these positions also saw in increase. With more work on the horizon, the trucking industry is still hiring to fill the void. And with an influx of open positions, many companies are starting employees with competitive salaries and benefits. The ATA found that the median salary for positions at private trucking companies (working exclusively with a company like Walmart) was $73,000, while median salaries across the industry as a whole tend to range between $43,000 to $50,000.

Trucking Is Critical To The American Economy

Unlike many other industries, the trucking industry is unique and steadfast because it cannot be outsourced. The result is that there will always be trucking positions available, and as worldwide production increases, so too does the responsibility of fleets. Even amidst talks of autonomous vehicles in the future, the need for a present driver will not be eliminated.

Most economists and analysts would agree that if the trucking industry came to a halt, so too would the United States. The trucking industry as a whole is so vital to the American economy because it relies on drivers to deliver goods — nearly any item you can pick up in the average American home was, at some point in the supply chain process, delivered by a truck. These trucks haul and handle more goods than any other transportation mode, and without them, goods would not be able to be transported from their ports to warehouses to customers.

To put this into perspective, consider the amount of goods transported in 2017: roughly 15.18 billion tons. By 2028, analysts predict that number will increase by 36.6% to 20.73 billion. By 2028, revenue from hauling those goods is expected to grow nearly 90%. Revenue for the industry in 2017 is about $719 billion, and that number is expected to rise to $1.25 trillion by 2028.

These numbers mean the economical influence is powerful, too. With sky-high revenues, the trucking industry accounts for 84% of all overall revenue in the American commercial transportation industry.

Major Truck Industry Influencers

A rise in local manufacturing and goods-producing companies means there’s an increase in material that requires transportation around the country. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, some of the fastest growing industries include food (manufacturing and full-service restaurants), department services, and building equipment contractors.

Each of these industries require significant transportation that relies heavily on the trucking industry. The food product & manufacturing sector alone is Georgia’s largest manufacturing industry, and it’s a trend that will only see additional growth over the next few years. For example, Georgia is currently the largest poultry producer in the world. The food processing sector is highly competitive, and the demand for those products will grow at reasonably moderate rates.

One forecast report issued by the American Trucking Association predicted that the trucking industryrevenues would grow 3 percent over the next five years. Demand for freight transportation is increasing, and trucking companies are competing to meet those demands.

augusta free press
augusta free press