Oct 14, 2019

More women are becoming truck drivers amid industry labor shortage

A long-haul truck in Louisiana. Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images

The American Trucking Association said the trucking industry saw a 68% increase in the number of female drivers from 2010 to 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the economy will need more truckers as the demand for goods increases. With the labor market continuing to tighten, employers are hiring from demographic groups that have not traditionally been associated with trucking.

The state of play: There were a total of 234,234 female drivers in 2018, but women still only accounted for just 6.6% of the 3.5 million truck drivers on the road, according to the ATA.

  • The U.S. is experiencing a severe shortage in truck drivers that is predicted to grow to as many as 175,000 by 2026. The median annual wage for a truck driver was $43,680 in May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Meanwhile, technologies like modern transmission systems and automatic loading and unloading equipment are making the job more accessible to more people.
  • To become a trucker, applicants typically need a high school diploma and must attend a professional truck driving school.

Yes, but: Some industry officials say women still face obstacles in the male-dominated industry. Most of the trainers in professional truck driving schools are male, though some companies try to pair female trainees with female trainers.

  • "Then there are on-the-job concerns. A 2017 survey by Women in Trucking asked female drivers how safe they felt at work. the average response was 4.4 out of 10. One of their main concerns is finding a safe, well-lit place to park overnight when there aren’t enough spots," per WSJ.

The big picture: Women are joining the trucking industry as it enters a transformative period. With numerous companies developing and testing autonomous and remotely operated heavy-duty commercial trucks, some experts believe that these technologies could revolutionize the profession.

Go deeper: Truck driving could soon be a desk job

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that the 68% increase in the number of female drivers was from 2010 to 2018 (not from 2000).

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Uber loses challenge to NYC ride-hailing caps

Uber and Lyft stickers in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Uber's lawsuit to overturn rules to restrict the number of for-hire delivery and transportation vehicles allowed in the city was dismissed Friday by the New York state Supreme Court, The Verge reports.

Why it matters: This is part of a package of rules lawmakers said was aimed at decreasing traffic caused by ride-hailing cars. Taxi drivers view the ruling — which Uber is likely to appeal — as a victory. Uber argues the ride-hailing cap costs its drivers thousands of dollars per year and the company stopped hiring new drivers in New York City this spring due to the cap.

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Didi seeks competitive edge with faster rollout of driverless pickup

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Didi Chuxing, China's colossal ride-sharing company, is rolling out a self-driving pickup service on Chinese streets in the next few weeks — a gamble that could give the company an important edge in the global market.

Why it matters: The first company to put large numbers of self-driving cars on the road stands to gain two important advantages: reduced operating costs and real-world driving data for its algorithms, which will improve its autonomous driving systems.

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Women's Trump-era power surge

Illustration: Axios Visuals

A surge of female winners in this week's state elections — most of them Democrats, and many of them women of color — reflect women's rising political power since the 2016 election, AP reports.

Why it matters: Tuesday's results mean women will hold majorities in places like the Boston City Council, long seen by many as a "boys' club," and lead communities such as Scranton, Pa., where voters elected the city's first female mayor just weeks before she's due to give birth.

Go deeperArrowNov 9, 2019