Julia Kuzeljevich is managing editor of Motortruck magazine, as well as sister publication Canadian Transportation & Logistics and www.ctl.ca. With nearly seven years’ experience writing for the Canadian transportation industry, Julia specializes in human interest, in-depth news and business articles of interest to the trucking and logistics sectors. Julia has a degree in languages with a postgraduate specialization in journalism, and work experience in the air transportation industry.
Trucking needs a baby boom
I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about something that has suddenly gotten put on the radar: the fact that in many industrialized countries, seniors will soon outnumber the younger, working-age population. In Canada, for example, (according to a Statistics Canada report released late last year), by the year 2015, there will be more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. That would be a first in the history of Canada’s population statistics, said the stats agency. Indeed, a worrying trend has emerged in the country: Canada’s fertility rates (the amount of births per woman) are declining dramatically. We essentially are no longer replacing deaths with enough births. The trucking industry has been well aware of such dire predictions for ages. Truckers already constitute, again according to Statistics Canada, an older work force whose average age in 2004 was 42 (45 for the self-employed truckers). Even more worrisome, only 5 % of truck drivers were under 25 in 2004, compared with 15 % in the labour force as a whole, says ‘the Man’s’ Stats division. And trucking will have to compete with many other industries for scarce employee resources. You can’t exactly offshore the profession either! Now demographics don’t happen overnight, but I think the sudden panic was probably encouraged by the fact that in 2006, the oldest Baby Boomers (encompassing those born from 1946 to 1964), turn 60. This wouldn’t normally be problematic because their generation is, as we all know, immortal, but now all sorts of queries and questions are coming out about what shall we all do? There’s no one left to work!