Truck drivers remain in high demand as holidays approach, Arkansas experts say

We’ve seen shortages for everything throughout the pandemic, from toilet paper to chicken wings. Now, there’s another shortage that has persisted even before the pandemic – truck drivers.

“The trucking industry has had a shortage of drivers even before COVID ever even struck us,” Michael Pakko, Chief Economist for the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, said.

The pandemic made matters worse for the industry that was already struggling.

“Something like 60,000 shortage of drivers before the pandemic hit. Then another 80,000 to 88,000, something like that, were laid off in April of 2020,” Pakko said.

The pandemic had to do with a lot of this as industries worldwide were shut down. But, with less drivers comes more backups and that’s making it even more difficult for them to bounce back. Especially as we approach the holidays, one of the busiest times of year for trucking.

Getting out of this isn’t a simple solution, Pakko said. We could be feeling the ramifications of this for a while.

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