The shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. is driving salaries higher, with gains up to 12 percent over the past year.
Average pay for long-haul truckers jumped 17 percent since the end of 2013 to a record average of $57,000 in 2015, according to the National Transportation Institute. The surge comes as U.S. employment costs overall are up just 2 percent and average weekly earnings are rising only 2.2 percent.
The shortage of truck drivers has grown to nearly 48,000 and could expand further due to a combination of industry growth and a retiring workforce, according to the American Trucking Associations' Truck Driver Shortage Analysis for 2015.
A booming economy and a strong dollar have caused increased demand for imported goods that must be transported via the $700 billion trucking industry. Trucking represents 68.8 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. The American Trucking Associations reported that the all-time high of tonnage was reached in January of this year.