Truck driving one of best jobs around: Career firm

CHICAGO — A U.S. national online job bank has ranked heavy-duty truck driving number18 on its list of the top 25 jobs for 2006.

The survey, which represents 8 million new jobs and 40 percent of total job growth over the next decade, ranked industries ranging from retail sales to teaching assistants based on their need for skilled professionals.

The long-haul, heavy-duty truck transportation industry in North America is experiencing a passive professional truck driver shortage. About 20,000 are currently needed in the U.S., the American Trucking Associations reported in its U.S. Truck Driver Shortage: Analysis and Forecasts issued in 2005.

The Forecast, a report on the present and future of the long-haul truck driver pool, predicts the shortage of long-haul truck drivers will increase to 111,000 by 2014 if current demographic trends stay their course and if the overall labour force continues to grow at a slower pace.

Another 219,000 must be found to replace drivers 55 and older who will retire in the next decade, putting total expansion and replacement hiring needs at 539,000 or an average of 54,000 new drivers per year for the next decade.

The Canadian Trucking Human Resources council predicts a similar ratio for Canada over the next 10 years.

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