Truckers wanted, industry sees shortage

Long haul drivers in demand

Headline Goes Here

Check out which states have the lowest unemployment rates as of October, the latest state figures available.

ORLANDO, Fla. - If you want a job, the highway is calling.  There's no unemployment crisis in the trucking industry.  In fact, industry observers say trucking companies are having a hard time finding drivers.

An expert on goods distribution says the U.S. is speeding toward a critical shortage of truck drivers in the next few years. The analysis is based on a recovering economy an an increased demand for transported goods

Page Siplon, executive director at Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, says U.S. companies are expected to create more than 115,000 truck driver jobs per year through 2016, but the number of Americans getting trained to fill those jobs each year is barely 10 percent of the total demand.

Trucking companies continue to have a particularly tough time hiring young drivers willing to hit the road for long hauls.  Transportation experts suggest older drivers have felt pressure to retire after federal safety regulations were enacted in 2010.  Those regulations keep a closer watch on drivers' work hours, drug testing, and any tickets and traffic citations they get on the job.

The U.S. Department of Labor says the median yearly wage for tractor-trailer drivers is $37,770, while some drivers can clear up to $100,000 a year.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.