Assessing alternative occupations for truck drivers in an emerging era of autonomous vehicles

This study identifies alternative occupations for heavy truck drivers and evaluates the relative attractiveness of these alternatives in terms of compensation, ease of entry and future job growth. The authors also evaluate the geographic correspondence between truck driving jobs and available alternatives within the same state given research evidence about geographic rigidities in job seekers. The authors develop two strategies for identifying alternative occupations. One approach suggests that there may not be sufficient job alternatives for a displacement of 35% or more of the truck-driving workforce. The second alternative suggests insufficient job alternatives when displacement levels exceed 50%. Despite these varied pictures, the results present some important trends among job alternatives. Most alternatives were in Job Zones 1 and 2 which require little additional training and/or education for displaced drivers. Unfortunately, the identified alternatives paid lower wages than truck-driving jobs, indicating a potential loss of income. The projected demand for alternative jobs also varied by occupation. Some alternatives are projected to have employment growth, while others are projected to have job losses. Lastly, there were geographic trends in states projected to experience greater losses of driving jobs, and that do not have sufficient alternative jobs for workers. The findings indicate that this is particularly true for states located in Middle America. Proactive labor policies that are tailored to the regional labor market and available job alternatives will be needed to help truck drivers transition into new occupations. These policies should be particularly mindful of the specific characteristics of the truck-driving workforce.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01879307
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2023 9:01AM