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With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs?
July 25th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With 8.2% unemployment, here's something that will likely surprise you about America's job market:

Companies say they've had 3 million job openings every month since February - this according to the Labor Department.

But employers say they're having trouble filling these positions because they can't find skilled workers to do the jobs.

Bloomberg News reports that in order to narrow this "skills gap," employers are teaming up with philanthropies, governments and community colleges to train their existing workforce.

Places like hospitals are taking the lead, turning to their own staff to train technicians and nurses. Also, factories and construction companies are stepping up apprenticeships.

Employers say it's not just technical skills that workers are missing - they point to so-called "soft skills" - things like the ability to solve problems, think critically and work in teams.

In other words, a lot of Americans are too stupid to do the jobs that are available. Pretty sad.

CNNMoney.com has another surprising example of jobs going unfilled: there are 200,000 jobs available for long haul truckers that nobody wants.

Experts say the positions are hard to fill since it's difficult and expensive to get certified.

Plus the lifestyle of a trucker isn't easy. Long days on the road often living in the back of a truck, separated from family and friends and working crazy hours.

Still truckers earn an average of almost $40,000. That's $4,000 more than the median wage for all jobs.

You'd think people looking for work would jump at the chance.

Here’s my question to you: With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

P.:
Could it be that we have made the unemployed masses comfortable in their unemployment? As long as they are getting money and benefits from the federal and state government, why give up the easy life?

Thomson in Batavia, Illinois:
I have been driving a semi for 11 years. To drive a truck you have to have a certain type of character: You can’t be bothered spending a lot of time away from home. You have to be ready at all times because your schedule may change and you would be required to either report to work immediately or wait at a location because a load is not ready or drive at midnight when everyone else is sleeping.

J. in Missouri:
Jack, If I drove a huge semi, you would want to get off the road.

John in Lake Charles, Louisiana:
For the same reason they don't want to pick vegetables, Jack. They want to sit on their butts in an air conditioned office playing with their smart phones all day and getting paid for it.

Lou:
Middle class Americans are the new snobs. They feel they are too good to do many of the jobs our parents raised their families on. A good friend of mine is a librarian who has to help the unemployed apply for jobs online and she says you wouldn't believe the jobs unemployed people turn their noses up at. They expect high pay, great benefits, AND a 'challenging' or 'interesting' work environment.

George in Pennsylvania:
My 4 year old grandson has visited the Mack museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania and says he wants to be a truck driver. If they can hold the position for another 20 years I'll remind him, if I'm still around.

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. kATTY

    One very simple answer – GAS PRICES. When you can't make money then why slave for a pittance. Families need to be fed and housed. In recent years people driving trucks seem to be Mexican as compared to 10 years ago. What this says, and why they aren't taking the so called jobs Americans won't do, I haven't a clue.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Probably because you have to pay out the nose for truck driving courses and nobody has any money.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Ed from California

    Jack, as a retired Teamster truck driver (local only). I can tell you after Ronald Regan when he De-regulated trucking and the "Independent" truckers popped up. Nobody working independent is making money, fuel, insurance, travel expenses, maintenance on the truck not mention the cost of the truck. And, you have to go to school to get your Class A license, your hazmat cert....and the big one....pass a drug test. Besides, It's not an easy life, Jack. That's why no one wants it. And, the money, if any isn't that good. Too much competition form other "Independent" truckers. Be Union, better pay and benefits.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  4. pat in michigan

    If I can drive someone elses truck I would love the job. If I have to buy and use my own rig that is cost prohibitive. the startup costs are a fortune and rookies go broke everyday.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  5. Brian

    Probably because the work is grueling and it takes people away from home for such long periods of time causing stress on the family unit.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  6. KB and JB central Florida

    Takes a certain "personality type" to enjoy trucking, especially long distance. Have to want the days/weeks away, the "miles to go before I sleep" attitude, have to be able to handle the big rigs.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Gary H. Boyd

    Have you driven the highways lately Jack? It's a zoo out there. More like a demolition derby. A long-haul driver is away from home big time and under constant stress. That's hardly a way to live.

    Gary in Scottsdale, AZ

    July 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  8. Gary in San Jose, California

    That is a good question. If I were in financial dire straits I'd leap at the opportunity to be a truck driver. People must not be suffering as much as we assume if they're willing to walk away from good job opportunities.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  9. manning

    A trucker makes his living on miles he drive to make 200000. per year you never home, if you own your truck sometimes you lower the bid to get fright, if you drive for company they control the numbers of trips you make, plus it being away from home that hard I did for 10 years and wake away from it.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  10. Richard Texas

    For starters it isn't cheap to become a truck driver. It involves long jaunts away from home and living in a tin can day and night. With the crazy drivers on the road it is also a dangerous job and trying to stop 80,000 pounds of freight and steel when someone cuts in front of you time and time again is not a lot of fun either. For owner operators it is even harder because of the fuel prices.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  11. Martha Brooks

    Maybe they can't get a CDL. Maybe they don't want to spend half their time away from home, or can't pass the physical. Maybe they're former "white collar" workers. Or maybe they don't even know about the opportunity. And let's face it, with millions of unemployed, 200K jobs are the proverbial drop...

    Martha, Rew, PA

    July 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Pete in Georgia

    Why ??
    Because that kind of job spells WORK. Yup, the same thing most spoiled Americans are allergic to.
    Why work when you have a bloated, deceitful, socialist federal government that will pay your bills from cradle to grave ?
    And hey !! You don't even have to be a citizen to qualify !!
    Jack, this is only the tip of the Iceberg.
    You ain't seen nuthin' yet !!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  13. Jim

    Jack,

    That's an interesting question. Long-haul trucking is no easy life. But if it was that or unemployment, and if I could qualify, I'd be strapping in and revving up.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    July 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  14. itsmeagain

    I wouldn't want to drive one of those juggernauts down the interstate or in city traffic! Gotta make time, no physical exercise, hauling toxic and/or flammable cargo,
    getting blown over in huge gusts of wind. Scary job sounds like.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  15. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Very interesting question actually. Trucking jobs pay decently. I would guess the reports are wrong, or the jobs are in a terrible place to live.

    I have no first hand knowledge of this, but I was under the impression trucking companies are making truckers pay for some of their own gas as a way to cut costs. So, the advertised wages are incredibly overstated.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  16. Phyllis G

    With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs?

    The people need a proper address, qualification needed, where to attend etc. etc.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  17. George in PA

    My 4 year old grandson has visited the Mack museum in Allentown, PA and expressed he wants to be a truck driver. If they can hold the position for another twenty years I'll remind him, if I'm still around (LOL)!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  18. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Because the union is all but broken. Additionally, people don't go from white collar jobs to trucking in their late 40s/early 50s. If you do, it kind of destroys your resume'.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  19. Larry, RI

    Nobody? I don't think so, Jack, just the Republicans. The reason. They don't want anything to happen that would look good for the President. Remember their # goal?: To make sure that Obama is a one term President!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Bob in Ohio

    Simple, people want to sleep at home, eat at home, and relax at home every day; not once every two weeks.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  21. L Lee Meyer

    Jack, There are a couple reasons. 1. It costs money to become a truck driver. You can't just suddenly decide that is your career path. It takes thousands of dollars and special licences to become one. 2. It is a lonely solitary life with long periods of time away from home. 3. It doesn't pay all that well for the time spent away from home. You only get paid for driving miles not for overnight stays or other down time. 4. weather can be very hazardous to your health especially in winter when you have deadlines to meet. It is not easy to drive through driven snow and icy roads so your load can be at it's destination by 6AM. 5. Right or wrong truck drivers are known as a rough crowd many don't want to join.

    Linda, Pullman WA.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  22. jk in MN

    Just a guess is the license is expensive and IF a person has any kind of health issue, the Trucking companies won't hire them because they are deemed to be potential liability. I'm not familiar with the trucking industry – purely speculation.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  23. Peg in NY

    No one wants to work hard for their money anymore.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  24. 1grasshopper

    Because the driving rules are to stingent. You don't get home every week like other jobs at driving,some companies don't even try. Rates are low and the drucks for town driving are to large.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  25. Doug Ericson

    I have no clue, but I will think of something. Speaking of trucks, I have seen some Pick Up trucks recently, parked at the local Supermarket, (parked on the road outside the supermarket actually because they are so big), that resemble the rigs in the headline photo here in size. Some folks want the biggest, widest, tallest, chromeist, flashyist Pick Up truck available these days I guess, and the Truck Manufacturers are doing their best to accomodate this market. 9 time out of 10 the driver is a short little guy or some big fat woman. Shucks, I forgot the question again, I guess I will have to wait and read your answer, so I know whats up with all the vacant Truck driving jobs. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  26. Randy

    First of all, there is not a shortage of drivers. Second, there aren't 200000 jobs available in the trucking industry. This is the same tactic that Microsoft uses to get more H1b visas to engineers from India. They go to congress and say there is a shortage of engineers in America so they need these people to fill positions at their company. What they don't say is that Indian engineers work for 30% less than American engineers. Trucking companies want to free up American roads to Mexican trucks and drivers to further drive down american wages. Just more of the same from the "job creators".

    July 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  27. Tom (Atlanta)

    Having had family do those jobs, they are not easy and require family and personal sacrifice. But, when I can set and draw two years worth of unemployment from Uncle Sam why not set and watch you Jack on TV and complain how tough it is. I sometimes wonder if our "the right thing" entitlements is not slowly eating away at "the American way" of individual achievement. I think we may be forgetting who brung us to the dance.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  28. Pete in Florida

    Part of the reason may be that many trucking companies are notorious for ripping off their drivers, failing to pay them fully and/or on time. My step-son has been a driver for years, local, regional and national, several different companies, and the pay problems are always the same. Also, it's a dangerous and somewhat unhealthy profession, and owning your own rig carries a LOT of expenses. A lot of time away from home and family, and the complete incompetence of a majority of the auto drivers out there, also doesn't appeal to many.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  29. John from Alabama

    Jack: To drive an 18 wheeler one must have a commerical driver license (CDL). It takes taking a test both written and driving an 18 wheeler. Some states will not even issue a CDL until people go through a certification driving course. It is a hard job with long hours, it is dangerous job, and the pay to start is maybe $38,000.00 a year, before taxes, liability insurance, and health care insurance. The large truck operators like; J B Hunt, Whites Trucking, and Roadway require many hours at the wheel driving safely to be hired. It takes about 2 years to just get the license. It is not for the old or young at heart, but rather those with experience in the military or small operatorexperience.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  30. Thomson Tembo from Batavia IL

    I am a truck driver myself, I have been driving for a total of 11 years straight driving a semi. To drive a truck you have to have a certain type of character. A life style that doesnt get bothered spending a lot of time away from home, You have to be ready at all times because your schedule may change and you would be required to either report to work immediatetly or wait at a location because a load is not ready or drive at midnight when everyone else is sleeping or having some quality time, watching sports, you have to cut all friday got to be out clubbing life style. Basically a trucker has very little social life at home.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  31. james in greenville, nc

    Nobody wants those trucking jobs because it is hard work! It makes better since to sit on the porch, drink beer and collect those government checks. Let some other fool drive those trucks!

    July 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  32. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Long distance truckers want premium pay for the inconvenience of being away from their families and the perils of the road. Instead they are being offered lower rates and often unpredictable fuel costs. American truckers cannot be outsourced.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  33. Lance

    The primary reason we are lacking skilled workers is due to the over a decade long push for standardized testing in our schools. These tests focus on the "Who, What, or When", instead of the "How or Why". Top students just want to know what the answer is that they need to bubble in on a test, instead of figuring it out. Until we realize that the journey is as much, or more important, than the destination in learning, this will be the case. Lance – Fullerton, CA

    July 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  34. Dave, Orlando, FL

    You said it; Americans are too stupid to do the jobs that need to be done. And the proof is all around us. Just try to get any customer disservice employee to solve a problem – or worse, even to understand the problem in the first place. And you can thank the dumbing down of America for that and the political scum that brought it about over the last few decades. (And that includes we who let it happen under our noses.)

    July 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  35. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    It's simple, Jack....You can't watch the road and your facebook page at the same time.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  36. John Lake Charles, LA

    For the same reason they don't want to pick vegatables Jack. They want to sit on their butts in an air conditioned office playing with their smart phones all day and getting paid for it.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  37. Brad, Portland, OR

    It's funny how employers love the free market when it comes to importing goods and services from cheap labor Third World countries, but hate the free market when it comes to people they have to employ in the US.

    Employers: the way the free market works is if there's a shortage of something, the price goes up. If you can't find people willing to accept your trucking jobs for $40,000, then clearly you need to raise the salary you offer until you get enough qualified people to fill the positions.

    P.S. I can't find anyone willing to sell me a brand new Ferrari in perfect condition for 50 bucks. Has Ferrari stopped making cars or something? 50 bucks is a lot of money, and everyone is turning me down!

    July 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  38. David of Alexandria VA

    Well, good budy, it probably means that not too many folks want to measure a good day by keeping the shiney side up and the rubber side down. (Ten-four?). But, more broadly, we have someohow not done a very good or realistic job of managing our youth's expectations, values, and skill sets ot meet the neds of the job market as they will meet it when they get out of school.. Other countries , particularly germany, have maintained a strong personal value system around skilled trades and a strong partnership with companies to enhance the educational process accordingly. Maybe too many of our kids grow up wanting to be web designers and pro athletes. Thanks to you, though, Jack, I'll bet there's a fleet of buses of wanna-be drivers willing to work and loading up in Mexico. They'll proably pass right by our unemployment lines

    July 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  39. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    I seriously think people are choosing to be unemployed, rather than being under-employed or change professions. It's easier to sit on your butt and blame someone else for your unemployment.... like the President. I think it's really pathetic. The work is there.....GET OUT AND WORK!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  40. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This is just the tip of the iceberg for the future of our country. People are not hungry enough to seek the skills to do the jobs as too many get a free ride, like almost 2 years of unemployment and on and on.

    July 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  41. jen seattle wa

    Becuz the Non working shareholders hiding behind the cost of the truck who benefit from Obama bailout ,Artificially Inlfate the COst ,FOrcing you to pay the equivilant of a Mortgage of a house for a truck.ANd The Futures Market that could be legislated out of existance that once again artificially inflates the cost of gas when wall st non working speculators buy low and sell high the same day..Free market Capitalism Needs Democratic Discipline of Greed

    July 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  42. Tonybottomline

    To be perfectly honest, not to many people want to drive that gigantic vehicle; But as you said, with the unemployment rate at 8.2%– people should take whatever job available, including Trucking.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  43. wayne, va beach, va

    Because ,Jack, of 100,000,000 phone talkers and tweeters driving.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  44. EdfromMD

    One trucking job would be hard enough no less 200,000, but the way things are heading that might be what it takes.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  45. Renee, Illinois

    I can give you one good reason. My last boyfriend got a job as a trucker after getting laid off from his construction job. He was gone for days or weeks at a time, I almost never saw him. After nearly a year we broke up. These jobs can end relationships or make what relationships you have long distance ones. For someone who's married with children I can certainly understand why they would prefer to keep looking for something closer to home.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  46. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Because the unemployed would rather sit home and collect unemployment benefits forever thanks to congress who keeps extending unemployment benefits to buy votes. Why not madatae that the unemployed take any available job directed by the unemployment office instead of just asking them to certify that they have looked for a job. We keep hearing that the 12 million illegals are doing jobs americans won't do. If that is the case, then the unemployment office should order them to take any job available.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  47. Susan Cameron

    Perhaps people aren't desperate enough to take jobs that kill families and communities, harm the environment, etc.

    Sure, we need some long-haul transportation, but it would be much more responsible in every way to produce more goods locally and take 200,000 diesel-burning trucks off the road, let families live together, and let people do dignified work in their own communities.

    The deeper problem is not so much lack of training or motivation to do the jobs that are available. It's that corporations continue to grow their businesses in soul-killing ways, rather than considering the well-being of their employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Even shareholders could be better off by measures other than profits.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  48. Diane S

    As mentioned in the article...it is difficult and expensive to get the certification. The person I know who has been doing this for years got his while in the military. He's close to retirement and also says the grueling nature/hours of the job plus the mandatory drug testing is an issue/ problem for many...

    July 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  49. Kim, Dodge City

    You said it yourself, Jack, too much expense in obtaining the proper license, too much time away from family. I guess if one is a natural nomad, then it's probably ok. Judging by most drivers out there on the road, it's fortunate for us that they aren't behind the wheel off a big rig.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Dennis

    Jack as a ex-trucker for 18 years with a top five company with over 1million safe driving miles,trucking isn't for everyone.If you're family man you'll miss alot of special events,long hours waiting for loads.To make it short,it not a 9 to 5 because you are paid by the mile so if the wheels aren't rolling you don't get paid,companies promise alot but can't deliver there is just to much b.s.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  51. lou

    Middle class americans are the new snobs. They feel they are too good to do many of the jobs our parents raised their families on. A good friend of mine is a librarian who has to help the unemployed apply for jobs on-line and she says you wouldn't believe the jobs unemployed people turn their noses up on. They expect high pay, great benefits, AND a 'challenging' or 'interesting' work environment.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  52. Larry in Houston

    With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs?

    ""Employers say it's not just technical skills that workers are missing – they point to so-called "soft skills" – things like the ability to solve problems, think critically and work in teams""

    That's because the people now days are hooked up to their cell phones / I pads / I pods / doing Videos, & music / constantly are on Facebook, and a whole host of other social networking sites – not to mention spending all of their time on the internet, in one way, shape, or another.

    ""In other words, a lot of Americans are too stupid to do the jobs that are available. Pretty sad""

    Yes, it IS Sad, it's downright pitiful. The social skills in this country is decaying at an alarming rate. There is where you get the "stupidity" part.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  53. JAB in Missouri

    Jack, if I drove a huge semi, you would want to get off the road.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  54. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    probably just like with pilots and the airline industry, Jack. they can't find young people smart and skilled enough to do the job and stupid enough to work for the money offered.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  55. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    So what you're saying is, jobs creation / availability is only part of the equation?

    NOW you're starting to see the negative affects of out-sourcing. The dollar isn't worth anything anymore and all the jobs here aren't worth working. 40k a year for back-breaking labor? Maybe back when a 4 bedroom house was 80k...

    July 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  56. cy gardner

    I've never had a job where a mistake on my part could mean serious loss of life. That may be a serious impediment for a lot of people who, in their hearts, know they are pretty incompetent.. cy from arlington, va

    July 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  57. Sandstone

    "Well that seems to be the problem, whatever vacancy's are available; either you don't have the skill or you're more of a hazard to the company. No doubt there are lots of drivers out there, but a great deal have too many bad driving tickets."

    July 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  58. TomInRochNY

    The way things are these days you need multiple jobs to make ends meet. $4,000 more than the average wage isn't enough, especially after paying for certification. And if you're on the road you can't hold down more than one job. It's simple math, Jack.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    July 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  59. TomInRochNY

    We don't have the "soft skills", Jack? It's been said that civilization breeds cowardice. If that's true then technology must breed stupidity.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    July 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  60. Deb in MT

    Jack,Jack,Jack. A person can't just waltz in to a trucking business and start driving! A driver needs serious training (which costs $$ that may not be available), certification (special tests and licenses), and then has to demonstrate an ability to tackle problems on the road & alone (which requires a good skill set). Once a prospective driver jumps through those hurdles, then he/she can apply for a job with those long hours of driving in all kinds of conditions & the long separations from family that you mentioned.

    I suspect it's that long separation from family that would be the deal breaker for many people–especially with most parents working at least one job–and juggling daycare and after work childcare when jobs overlap: make one parent unavailable for days or weeks, and it's nearly impossible to cover the kids. Just a thought.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  61. Paul in NC

    You've already answered your own question, Jack. Lack of training or certification and the hardships of the job keep many away. But it's not just trucking. There will always be people who are unemployable due to low intelligence, lack of education, poor interpersonal skills or just a bad attitude. But for most the jobs are out there if they are willing to take the steps necessary to secure one. Too many people look for scapegoats like illegal immigrants, unions, or Barack Obama rather than taking positive action. It's much easier to just attend tea party rallies and whine about it.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  62. WR Jones

    The cry among the poor is loud... Vote for Obama or you might have to get a job!
    Who wants to drive around the country eating greasy food when you can sit at home, watch CNN and play games on your new iPhone.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  63. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Pretty simple,Jack,Why the hell would anyone want to work hard,when the government will take care of you from the cradle to grave?!If we stopped paying people to be non-productive those jobs would be filled in a matter of days.It reminds me of the statement"jobs Americans won't do",if you stop feeding lazy people they will do those jobs.John Smith of colonial fame had it right,"No Work,No eat!"!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  64. Steve Edna, KS

    Jack I am 67 still have my CDL's and in good health. I wanted extra income and have been turned down 4 times this year. But I can answer your question. Being seen as a cash cow to every town, county, state and federal agency,they have drivers jumping through hoops to stay legal, and one mistake can cost you thousands of dollars. You have got to drive 200,000 miles to make money, and it really pays for husbands and wifes teams. By the way I wouldn't drive around the block for $44,000. One last thing these drivers schools are turning out a very poor product. As a former driver/trainer I culled my share of dangerous school graduates.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  65. Jim in Denver, CO

    Jack,
    You stated a couple of things that point to why people do not want a job as a long-haul trucker. First is the crazy hours and being away from home for an extended time. Second is the training and certification requirements, which companies don't want to pay for and thus it is cost prohibitive for a regular person. Third, making $40,000 a year for a very strenous and dangerous job isn't worth it.
    American workers are not lazy or stupid, but companies don't want to train people or pay decently either. So we get the influx of 'guest' workers who push wages down. That is the real problem.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  66. David - Augusta, Georgia

    Who wouldn't want truckers? Someone has to make the kids in the passing cars happy by honking their honks!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  67. Layne Alleman

    Jack, I'd love to know who,exactly, gave you that figure of $40,000.00 a year TAKE HOME. Yes, that may be a workable figure for before taxes,fuel cost, truck payments, insurance, meals, ect., ect., but for the most part, you're damn lucky to break even. Of the ten or so ex-truckers I know, all of them had to quit over financial hardships(overhauls,up-keep, parts, ect.). Short/day haulers do a whole lot better, but you have to speed like hell, because most are paid by the load(tho illegal in most states including my own). Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  68. I'm a Rose

    Have you ever tried trucking? My husband did and it was terrible. Sometimes he got to come by home every two weeks and mostly he didn't. I was home with three kids, one a new baby. We ate a whole lot of bread and gravy, not a good thing. It isn't worth $40,000. You can't make it on that kind of money. I finally had enough, he came home and the gravy tasted a whole lot better with their daddy home.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  69. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    As you pointed out, Jack, its the separation from family and friends that make the job undesireable. I'm engaged to a young woman from north Georgia, and I would not want to take a job in which I only get to see her around the Holidays, if at all...not to mention my parents and the rest of my family. That is the one thing keeping me from seriously considering trucking as a job/career.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  70. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Maybe because Obama and others said every one should get a college degree. That leaves no one to make things, and drive trucks.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  71. Ted

    SADLY...The government is paying too many people a lot of money for not working. It is called WELFARE. Take it away from those who are to lazy to work, and watch how fast the jobs get filled.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  72. RickFromDetroit

    $40,000 a year for a job that requires 90 hours a week is about $8.50 an hour "straight time" to stay away from home for weeks at a time, and if you don't know the thousands of pages of federal & state regulations, you could end up in the slammer for an accident. $100,000 a year would solve the problem of finding drivers, but that would also solve the employment problems with all industries.

    Where's the Beef??

    July 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  73. Charles - San Antonio

    "Truck driving" is too much like real work. If you are incompentent and make a mistake, you might die or kill someone. Also you can't waste the day away surfing the internet. We want jobs that mask our inferior skills and meet our number one goal – "getting paid for doing nothing" – you know Jack, like your job.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  74. Gigi Oregon

    I'm offended by your statement that those out of work are stupid. Many fail at jobs because our education in the public schools have been cut back and students are moved ahead before they have completed their learning skills. Trucking is not for the average person... With the Capitalist sitting on their hands, holding back on jobs or sent over seas for bigger profit. Depression becomes a problem for many unemployed. After years of bad behaviour patterns by Capitalist investors (Bain Capital comes to mind), dysfunctional government leaders, wars and death, insider trading (corruption), high taxes for the middle class and tax cuts for the rich (if the rich get tax cuts... guess who picks up the tab). We/they are not stupid as much as depressed with the hatefulness of the Elite comments such as yours. Driving trucks take a strong fortitude.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  75. Jeff In Minnesota

    Having been a truck driver, it's not a life for everyone. You spend a lot of time away from home and the pay isn't always as good as it appears.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  76. Hoosier Hillbilly IN

    Jack, go get you a license to drive one-see how easy i is!

    July 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  77. Sandstone

    "It's not a healthy job isn't trucking, Jack. When I was a young guy in England, a friend of mine's dad drove a long flatbed truck, and it caused him all kinds of problems from sitting in the saddle too long. Last time was in england about ten years ago, I heard he was an invalid, his legs?? I suppose it's like flying too often??"

    July 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  78. Carl in Warrenton, VA

    The high cost of entry, the amount of time away from home (almost like being in the military on deployment), and then the pay doesn't justify any of the cost of entry. It's a no brainer to stay away.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  79. Ralph Nelson

    You have to have very good health. You have to have very good vision. It well be hard on your family (but so's the service and being a travelling salesman). You can get training at many community colleges. Also, all the railroad people are retiring and lots of high paying jobs there. Go for it. Sometimes just not knowing the jobs are available is the problem. Job Service sure isn't much help (resume' writing courses). Use your phone: "Do you have any job openings?"

    July 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  80. gg canada

    obama was right were would the trucking industry be without goverment roads

    July 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  81. Jim Charlotte NC

    It would look funny sitting behind the wheel of a tractor in a silk suit.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  82. Kevin in CA

    Why would you upfront a bunch of money for training and equipment to do a job that is lonely, keeps you away from family and has minimal financial return on investment? Oh, did I forget to mention the regulatory harassment?

    July 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  83. pjoe

    Could it be that we have made the unemployed masses comfortable in their unemployment? As long as they are getting money and benefits from the Federal and State government, why give up the easy life?

    July 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Nina Fox

    Easy Jack. MY VISION!!!!!

    You want me to drive an 18-wheeler when I cannot read street signs? Remember, not everyone can drive trucks of that size.

    ~Nina

    Anaheim, Southern California

    July 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  85. Chukwuemeka in CA

    jack i dont want to die young.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  86. Marcus

    You pointed to the reason why people are not going for those jobs? MONEY!!! It costs money to get certified to drive trucks, but the difference between truck drivers and doctors, lawyers, etc. that you listed Jack. Those other careers have financial aid to pay for those certifications, but for truck drivers you have to pay out of pocket. If you're out of work for almost two years who has the money to pay for that? If there was a mechanism to help those that would take the job if the entry costs weren't so expensive maybe they would become truck drivers.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  87. Kade in Ames

    People don't want just any job. Without saying it out loud, they want that perfect job... you know the one that they enjoy doing everyday. Who cares if they are unemployed and out of money? People would rather rely on others and wait for the ideal job than take responsibility and work the jobs available.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  88. David in Florida

    There are plenty of people wanting these good jobs. They just are not able to pass the required drug test.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  89. Ben

    It's ridiculously expensive to start in the trucking industry. Do you have the money so I can go to school Jack? I sure don't.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  90. Scott

    It's because no one has to work in Obama's ideal welfare state...movign that way. Maybe 500 weeks of unemployment for the working person to fund?

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  91. Jamie

    Everybody has pretty well laid it out for you. The costs to attend school are horrific. Very few companies have real support services for their drivers. Many of the trucks are death traps. The "independents" can't make a living up against the corporate conglomerates. IOW, nobody wants a job that on the surface looks good but adds up to screwed.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  92. Peter in LangleyB.C.

    I don';t think they're just too stupid. They also don't know how to read the help wanted ads

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  93. Robbie

    No one wants the jobs or want to work because it is easier not to. You still get paid and get government assistance, so why work. In alot of cases you can make more sitting at home than working. Thank Obama for that

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  94. frank dileo

    My middle finger is exhausted just driving from brooklyn to manhattan and that is in my car. I couldnt imagine driving a rig through that traffic or on the open road with idiots tailgating me and trying to get around me for a living.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  95. Sean

    No one takes the jobs because they can't afford the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for the training needed for certification. Other companies need to look at the pitiful handful of employers that are willing to eat the cost of training someone in return for an employment contract, instead of trimming their rosters to put a few more bucks in the company's pocket.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  96. Field in SC

    Working in a medium sized trucking company, I know how difficult it is to find qualified drivers. Our insurance company requires at least 36 months of over the road experience with no violations of any kind, or they won't insure them. We are investigating pilot programs to lower the requirements, but at this point it doesn't look promising.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  97. Barrie

    Jack, I used to drive truck and while i enjoyed the travel and the income, what the figures you quoted didn't tell you is this: 40,000 a year for a 40 hour work week is great, but most truckers work around 70 hours a week. Their sleep cycles are thrown out of whack, and when they finally get home for some rest they end up up sleeping a lot to get those cycles back into the norm.

    Also, bad diets, high divorce rates, health problems, and the constant pressure by the company you work for to rush rush rush. They need better pay for what they do.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  98. Daniel, from Waterbury CT

    Simple, because it's easier to sit at your doorstep and wait for your weekly unemployment check than to sit behind the wheel of one of these trucks for long hours far away from home, Jack.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  99. Linda

    Two reasons:

    You don't have critical thinking skills because Arne Duncan and the corporate reformers are shoving test prep down our throats. Kids spend weeks filling in bubbles...not much critical thinking there.

    Also, they want everyone college ready...kind of doesn't go along with the perpetual test prep. Why spend four years in college just to drive a truck.

    Skip the constant testing and not all are going to college.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  100. Merlin in Florida

    Apparently you have not driven "on the road" Jack. It is lonely, ever changing and boring, not to mention DANGEROUS, WHEN DRIVING AND WHEN NOT DRIVING. You should visit a truck stop for a day or two. See how many smiles versus frowns you see. Then you will know.

    One could step up to truck driving from ditch digging. That's about as glamous as it gets.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  101. Richard Texas

    Just out of curiosity Jack, when was the last time you bought a Semi? Most people do not have a quarter of a million dollars in extra cash to blow on one. Now try filling that truck up with diesel at $4.00 a gallon and then pay insurance and highway taxes and the maintenance on that same vehicle. Pay the $6000.00 to get the drivers license providing you can pass the physical and your all set. I could just see you and Wolf rolling it down the highway. Yeah right!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  102. Nick Fury

    Many American's don't quality (medically) for trucking jobs due to the strict government health requirements to drive a truck. I'm physically in good shape but don't meet the medical requirements so I am unable to drive a truck.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  103. Bob in Ohio

    Loading and unloading trucks in a warehouse, I have found that Truck Driver is the new job being done by immigrants. Like picking produce on farms immigrants, from all parts of the world, are taking on truck driving. There just must not be enough of them trained yet.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  104. James madia

    we are a nation of fads. if a new t.v. show or movie glamourized trucking as it did when I was a kid, there would be a line.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  105. James

    The newest reason for this is that most truckers are over weight. And if your body mass is too high then you have to get tested for sleep apnea. In which case they always say you "can benefit from a cpap machine". If you don't use the cpap machine then the insurance co stop paying for it, and you lose your trucking license. A lot of trucks are not equip'd with the required electrical outlet. So how can you use it? That regulation is driving people out of the trucking business.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  106. Steve

    Reading these post, i'm right, they moan and complain, not a single posting is asking "where do I apply"... we are becoming a buch of loooooooooosers....

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  107. Rick E

    Hey Jack go ask a Truck Driver how much they spend just to stay out on the road! It's going to cut that 40,000 a year down to about 28,000!!! and just because someone isn't trained for a job doesn't mean their stupid!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  108. Tim Clifford

    Jack,
    If CNN fired you tomorrow and 6 months from now you still couldn't find work, would you take the trucker job for $40K ?
    I didn't think so, neither would most of us.

    Tim
    Boston

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  109. Barry Butzer

    It is simple, Jack. They can't pass the drug test or get a CDL.

    Barry in KY

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  110. Ann Marie, FL

    One important thing being left out is that in order to qualify to drive a truck, many of these companies require a minimum of 1 year experience. It's not simply that people don't want the jobs, they can't get them for different reasons. Funny how now this is such a problem when just a couple of years ago there was the big hubub about letting truck drivers from S. America and Mexico drive through the U.S. without U.S. licenses.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  111. James

    In my experience people who are unemployed identify too much with their old jobs. When asked they will say something like "I'm a salesman" or "I'm an executive", however the hard truth is that you have to be employed to be a salesman or executive and if you are not you are unemployed. People who want work need to take the jobs that are available rather than waiting for a job similar to their old careers.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  112. Linda

    Simple Jack, labor laws regulating truckers require the trucker to drive 11 hours straight and be on duty for 14 hours. If they are lucky they get 8 hours of sleep, most times in the sleeper or cab. Timetables are strict and if you are late there is hell to pay. Ever noticed how many morning newscasts include information about a big rig accident blocking traffic? That's because we ask truckers to do the physically impossible then scratch our heads when they jackknife! How do I know, I almost lost my husband that way.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  113. Troy In Calgary, Alberta

    Jack, nobody in Canada wants a $100,000 Alberta oil patch job. Why? Because they have to work long hours, and they never went to college or University to expect to work for hard for big n income. They want the good paying jobs to be given to them instead. Guess what? They will go to Immigrants instead who don't make income expectations or excuses...

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  114. Lawrence

    From what I have heard from friends that are truckers, the industry bleeds you dry, expecting you to drive long hours. Burnout is prevalent in the trucking industry and if you don't mind not having a life.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  115. Mike , Pennsylvania

    It is a job that requires the employee to actually work and live a life style that many find unacceptable. It is far easier to complain that there is no EASY and well paying jobs. No only are Americans to stupid for the current job environment, they are just to LAZY.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  116. Jose

    Jose in Waipahu

    I am retired military as of 31 July 2012. I am currently looking for a job. I have various amounts of experience from driving to customer service to instructor experience. Contact me please i am willing to work.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  117. eflows

    Just saw your commentary, in which you say American's lack basic "soft" skills, including critical thinking. Please note that the official 2012 Texas GOP Platform, released a few weeks ago, states specifically that the party DOES NOT support the teaching of critical and "higher order" thinking skills because they undermine students' fixed beliefs.

    I think you have your answer as to why Americans might lack such "soft" skills.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Poemander

    Hey Jack, I'm writing from up in Canada, but you may be surprised to hear that we're in the same situation regarding the Trucking industry. I was told I could get my A license with airbrake endorsement (Ontario regulation) paid for ahead of time if I only went and applied. I provided an excuse to forego the training, which was my dreams of self employment, to pay for my new career, and I'm not alone in providing excuses *cough*Able-To-Work Welfare Dependents*cough*.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Hernan

    I believe this is from the economy, it's unfair to think an unemployed person to have enough money for the training, and with the government not doing anything for the economy, I doubt that people will be able to fill those and other jobs

    July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Name*Tony

    I have a CDL license. Can't drive for two more years. During MY FREE TIME I smoke weed so I failed the random test. I betcha there's a hundred thousand people in the same boat.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  121. Michael Wilson

    Jack, the employment situation you spoke about is a big lie. I have a Master Degree in Information Systems Management, A Bachelors Degree in Management Information Systems and an Associates Degree in Applied Science as a Database Specialist. I have been unemployed for 14 years because I have had a brush with Florida Department of Law Enforcement. I have applied for thousands of Jobs since 1988 and everyone conducts a background check. My skills and experience are going to waste because for the last 14 years I have been unable to get work in the United States, in the United Kingdom and in the Island of Jamaica. I have come down off my high horse and contacted a trucking firm to be trained and obtain my CDL license here in Georgia. The man who answer the firm when I told him I had a felony said he does not want me, I should go somewhere else. So it seem that Corporate America wants to hire more cheap Indians and Asians and I am a starving, indigent American Citizen. Where is the dream, Jack, Where is the American dream???

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  122. John Miller

    There are signs around my town: Wanted Experienced Machinists $40,000+

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  123. kelly

    I've heard President Obama talk about educating people so that America could be competitive in the world, namely fill those jobs in which no one has any qualifications, but he gets shot down everytime by the right. As is education is well...a bad thing. Seems to me he's right, and if America doesn't improve it's education system and invest in the young people in the country then we'll all be truck drivers.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  124. frank barry

    ...probably because it's too far to drive to China.........

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Tim Skaggs

    Why would anyone want to drive a truck up and down the highway when they can sit at home and receive a variety of government subsidies to do nothing? Check the increase in Social Security disability over the past three years and you can see the job everyone is waiting for.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  126. Gary

    Why doesn't anyone want 200K trucking jobs? Simple answer, check the want ad, they are asking for 2-5 yrs experience. My next door neighbor got his cerification as a truck driver and no one would hire him because he didn't have 2 to 5 years experience. You can't just get these jobs, unless you have experience or lie about having experience.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  127. Kim in Michigan

    Supply and demand, Jack. It works both ways, even though employers have spent the last few years holding it over our heads that people in the third world are willing to live in the most obscene conditions.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  128. EJ in Ct

    Jack, I'm surprised you didn't do your research on this one. First you need a special license to drive the big rigs. This requires a training course which lasts eight weeks and can cost as much as $10,000! Not exactly pocket change for the unemployed. BUT, even if you can scrape that kind of money together, and give it the eight weeks, the trucking companies won't even spit at you without years of experience. It's a NO-WIN situation.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  129. Ray in Montana

    I am an experienced commercial truck driver and can tell you that the 40K that the companies claim you can make is incorrect. Being on the road costs a minimum of $300 per week for parking and meals. Many hours are also spent sitting, which is for no wages. Deduct that from your earnings and you are working for minimum wage. Most companies tell new drivers no more than 2 weeks out at a time. I personally know drivers who were out up to two months at a time, where they were told 2 weeks.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  130. daniel janet lake charles, la

    dear Jack
    I know you will not post this, I was a truck driver at a point in my life and it seems that you and many other are not aware of the fact that an eighteen wheeler , a used on cost 200 k. a new one much more. Most companies will not suppy you with a truck. How may 40 k a year job envolve a investment of this size.. Think about it when reporting that people do not want a truck driving job

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  131. Kevin L

    With these trucking companys in need of drivers, half of those companys would have you driving a "1919 get out and push", pre-world-war-II, needing all kinds of maintainence and the bosses would say; "...it's alright, you can drive it."
    No regard towards safety and a hard timelimit to deal with; why would you risk your life for a $40k job? Come correct or you get what you're asking for; in this case you treat your employees like crap...your turn.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  132. gary

    dear jack

    as a former long haul trucker i can tell you it isn't as hard as it use to be . most trucks are off loaded by company
    personell. bt the hours are bead. but the rewards are well worth it. i've made over $65,000 and the sacrafice is well worth it. so those who need a job the trucking industry is waiting for you. believe me its not brain surgery.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  133. Gerald Rhoden

    The electronic onboard recorders is the main reason why these jobs can't be filled. It restricts the driver where even if they work 9-5 they won't make enough money. They are given 70 hrs a week with 11 hrs a day, they will run out of hours and will have to sit for 30 hrs before getting new hours so it makes the job very difficult and unattractive to sit around on the road away from your family. If the 70 hrs a week rule, then this would make the job attractive.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  134. Steve

    Truck driving is a tough, dangerous, thankless job. It takes its toll on your health and your family. If the pay structure were changed so that drivers get paid by the hour, for every hour they are in that truck, it might get better. Sitting on a snowy road for three hours because of an accident and then waiting 2 hours to get into a dock and then waiting 1 hour to get unloaded or loaded is all on the driver's time and no one cares except the driver and family.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  135. Michael in California

    After being in management for over 40 years I have come to a belief that to be a trucker is indeed a rare and unique human. There are no limits to what a driver can do with a career in trucking, but the hours on the job, away from your home, your family, make it hard to enjoy the life you are providing. It takes dedication and drive.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  136. Rebecca Nichols

    Jack employers in McAlester Oklahoma are asking where are the job shortages because we cannot find enough people to feel the jobs. I talk with employers all the time and this is what they tell me. We have more jobs than people looking for jobs. I guess they just aren't hungry enough.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  137. johnyou31

    Almost $40,000 ? What are you talking about? I make over $70,000 / year. I only run one overnight trip per week, the rest are one day trips! I'm a Teamster, and get paid by the hour, plus overtime. But I've been driving a truck for 13 years. The problem is, many of the starter jobs out there don't pay enough, and it's hard to get the good jobs without at least 2 years experience.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  138. Ann Marie, FL

    There are also uncovered expenses incurred as a truck driver. You don't get to sleep in a bed unless the driver pays for it. It is not an easy deal which pays very little when you realize just how many expenses are incurred.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  139. Harry Lime

    Sadly, people have learned that 'someone', e. g. the government, will take care of them if they choose not to work. They will find any excuse not to work if they know others will do it for them. The work ethic has diminished

    July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  140. Scott

    Too stupid?
    How SMART would I be to pick tomatos for $3 an hour?
    How SMART would I be to take a job with a salary of $20K which requires 50 hours a week and allows no way to augment that pay to a point it would actually feed my family?
    How SMART would I be to wait until employers tell their business consultants and share holders that I will work as soon as some of those big profits get shared FAIRLY with the workforce?

    Jack, How much different you story might sound if you spent a little time addressing companies complaints about no employees while they are unwilling to pay them a living wage. Who cares how many "jobs" are out there if they don't allow me to make an actual living?

    July 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  141. Scott Farrell

    I have a job posted online now for my company. It has been there for less than 24 hours and I have about 50 resumes so far. Only 3 have the basic skill set required for this job. I understand people need to work but with no skills and companies not being able to afford to train new employees from scratch are the Catch 22 for many people. Too bad those that are young don't see this and have some basic marketable skills when they hit the job market. I don't want to read another resume from a history or social work degree holder who says I am hard working and trust worthy. Employers want some one who can contribute from day one.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  142. Mike in TX

    Because Jack trucking has become overly regulated to the point that a driver can be fined and fired for the smallest of things. Every little city police office now is a "dot inspector". Trucking companies now have technology on board where they can call you and asked why you just braked to hard. Living on the road is not like it used to be though with the internet and cell phones it's a bit easier to be away from your family. The old days of truck stops with good food, clean showers, and safe parking areas are rare at best. From the company to the customer to the DOT everything has changed away from the driver to only regulations and profit at their expense. $40K is a figure that most drivers don't reach until they have been at it for several years and out of that comes all their living expenses for meals, showers, laundry, etc.. It's no longer worth being away from ones family for 2 to 4 weeks at a time. That is sad because these guys keep our country going. Without them everything stops.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  143. unionguy

    Jack- with Mexican trucks coming up,and deregulation, and trucking companies racing to the bottom- the rates for drivers has been flat for the last 20 years.Trucking used to be a profession- now go to a truck stop, all the drivers look like bums. Now do the math- 80 hr weeks 40k= 9 bucks a hour, I would much rather be a plumber and be home every night

    July 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  144. Sam

    If they were talking about jobs paying those wages you would fill them in 5 minutes.

    Now they are more likely talking owner operators that must pay for the truck, insurince, fuel, tolls and maintenace.
    now that 40000 is 400

    July 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  145. Eric

    What motivation does anyone have to go to work if they can choose stay home and collect a paycheck from the government for doing nothing.
    Dubois pa

    July 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  146. Danelle

    Military Vets are perfect for long haul trucking. They are used to being away from family for long periods of time, living in difficult conditions and like to travel. The government would save money if they paid for training these vets because they could stop unemployment benefits sooner. These jobs would also help reintroduce vets into society quickly, reduce stress and give vets a new purpose in life.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  147. Lindy

    My son, who has a degree and mariried with 3 kids, just went through the school and is now on the road. If you have a spare $3000+ or can get a loan for the required class, then pass the tests and learn how to drive a big rig you too can do this. BUT now he is on the road 24/7. Makes 25 cents a mile. Lucky he got a job with an independent. If he would have gone with a big trucking company he would have been at the bottom of the list only getting short hauls once in a while. He would have been better off working at Circle K! Tough? Yes. He has seen his family twice for 24 hours in the last two months. Figure it out. How many miles does he have to drive to make the $40,000 when he can only drive 11 hours a day at top speed of 62 mph!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  148. JW

    With 8.2% unemployment, why does nobody want 200,000 trucking jobs??? Where do you get your fact? I have a Computer Science Degree from UCI. I designed and programmed the avionic software of today airline and helicopter DCPOFP (Displayed Control Panel Operation Flight Program) before I was lay-off. Then I reinvented myself as special effect programmer and only found my programming job as 3D CG modeling shipped to China. Nonetheless, I returned to a college and acquired an RN License. Immediately after graduation as a Registered Nurse, NO hospital in California are willing to hire newly grad RN. Then, you said we, Americans, are too stupid?!? How many foreigners can be technically advanced in both IT and medical world. So, you, Cafferty person, cater to the corporate greed – cheap labor overseas increase profitability, check your fact.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  149. Williiam R

    I drove an 18 wheeler over the road, dedicated, regional, double trailers, always safe, no tickets, no alcohol, no drugs, always on time or early. In all my time, I had only one good manager. When she left trucking, so did I. The rest of the managers in all the trucking companies were crap who had no knowledge of trucking or they were young college types bossing around guys doing the driving. They were never respectful, never got a driver home when he wanted to be home to recharge his hours or be with family. Managers try to make you work illegally, send you to places to wait ten hours to load or unload instead of to places with loads that are ready. You have to work 70 hours a week, but the only money you make is when the wheels are turning at 60 mph, and not sitting in NYC traffic. Complain and it gets worse.
    Who need to be treated like crap instead of a professional?

    July 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  150. Red Taylor

    We need more skilled workers...... Maybe someone should whisper that to the Republican congress men and women, governors, state legislators, superintendents of schools who are going about systematically decimating our teacher ranks across the county, de-funding schools, coming up with really bad (but CHEAP) solutions to American education.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  151. Paul from New Jersey

    Jack, welcome to reality! Finally, an unemployment question with relevant facts that doesn't attack the president. It's a great question. One unfortuante truth is that some college graduates are too pretty to take such jobs, and others, too lazy or too dumb. Conversely, those who want to work, well, the process for applying and becoming certified for these lower paying, yet livable jobs is arduous and expensive. we've become a country of social policy and buerocracy content to make the process of simply going to work as painful as a root canal.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  152. Rick

    Speaking as an "ex' truck driver-the industry itself sucks. The companies pay you the shortest miles between two points. Trucks aren't always allowed to travel those routes because of height restrictions, weight restrictions, etc. For every 1000 miles you drive, at least 100 of those miles aren't paid. It's even worse in New England states. Try to idle your truck at night in the winter in northern states for warmth and you'll receive a ticket from the state police. Eat at a truck stop every night and you'll either go broke or end up with heart trouble from all the sodium. Not to mention being away from loved ones for extended periods of time.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  153. Doug

    the reason people do not want these over the road jobs is they pay milage and stop pay. this means while your dispatcher finds the perfect load for the company to maximize its profit you sit in the truck stop not getting paid. the salary might be 40k a year but with the amount of hours you spend out on the road it breaks down to about $9 an hour. add to that the way people drive today and the total lack of respect that they have for big rigs and t is a very dangerous job.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  154. Jim Lanoix

    Jack, you said it yourself: "a lot of Americans are too stupid to do the jobs that are available". Why should they think they need skills for a job? After all, in 2008, 52% voted for a President who did not have any skills needed to run the country. If I can hire skilled laborers abroad and avoid the highest corporate tax rate in the world, do I need to be smarter than a 5 year old to figure the right answer for my business? Cut the corporate tax rate, bring the money home, apply the money to education and vote for a president with the right business skills.Retired Jim from Florida.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  155. Jan Martin

    You do understand that states like Texas feels that being able to think is a waste of learning money? As a mother of over the road truck drivers, you do know that they don't get paid when the truck breaks down, they don't get paid while incompetent schedulers try to find a return load? You do understand that many firms expect you to buy & fuel an 18 wheeler putting them in huge unplayable debt? You do understand that many states treat truckers like homeless people & make them be out of state by nightfall. They can rack up huge fines for minor infractions, truly states fundraisers. It is not a $40,000 job.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  156. Armand

    why would someone want to take a trucking job when your hired on as a contractor & you have to pay for the maintanice & gas up front & with the price of gas going up and down all the time & when the gas prices at there highest you dont get all of the money you put out back on top of having a 33.3% – 39% tax rate

    July 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  157. Julio in Oklahoma

    If you lease a truck through your employer, they usually give you loads to carry until you reach the last few months of your loan. Then the loads dry up, you can't pay the loan, the employer repo's the truck, they resell or re-lease the truck, and your credit gets ruined. Your career is virtually over.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  158. David From the sleeper of my truck

    Yep trucking driving is for a special person. I was a custom vacation home builder in a CO ski town for years. Now I drive over the road...I received my training for free from a national carrier, I now have my won truck and business. I make more than 40K although this is not a life....it's a living. Currently in Beach ND hauling hay for the cows in need of food.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  159. Clare

    For the past 25 years I've been a recruiter at top tech companies. What I have found is that if you are unemployed, especially for more than six months, hiring manages won't even look at your resume. They treat these candidates as diseased. For the unemployed it doesn't matter how many jobs are open, they don't have a chance to get hired.

    The us has two major problems-

    First you have to change the mindset of HMs. Good luck

    Second – we have an eager workforce that is untrained for.current job openings and training – education and certification – is expensive. You can get loans – maybe but you can also get into SL debt. My son had 100k in SLs upon graduation and could only find a job that paid $26k. If you are unemployed it may be difficult to get a loan

    Business, universities need to partner establishing job appropriate education that is affordable. The unemployment rate will not change until HMs look at the unemployed differently and education doesn't cost more than my first home

    July 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  160. Sharon Edwards Colorado Springs, CO

    My husband was unemployed a few years ago and he really wanted to do this. I told him to go to truck stops and ask truckers what they thought. There are good reason no one wants this job – you give up your life, and not for $40,000 a year. Your costs cut into that, and many times one gets stranded on the road because the trucking companies don't care. It would probably be better to work at MacDonalds or Walmart...at least you will be with your family and know where you sleep at night. My husband really wanted to do it, but I told him it would be the end of our marriage.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  161. WR Jones, NPR, FL

    When women were convinced they were better off working a job instead of raising a family and making sure the kids were ready for life, we all lost the America way of winning. How can we all ignore that the work force doubled almost overnight? Now we see the results... children that are raised by the system, adults that can't compete in the world economy, entitlements out of control and crime that makes Al Capone look like a nice guy.

    We wanted a society where women had the same rights, same jobs, same life style, but at what cost? They talk about a war on women, but the real war is on our communities where there is no family unit, no family values, no chance for a child to learn anything but grow up, leave school and work til you die.

    So you ask why don't people want the jobs? Why are they not prepared for life? Because they don't know any better than wait for the system that raised them to continue to give them all they need to live... Jobs? We don't need no stinkin' jobs!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  162. Yacht Captain in Florida

    A trucking job is not for everyone and probably most of the jobs would require long durations away from home and family. Sort of like my job as a yacht captain. But interesting enough even when I apply for a captain position opening I've been turned down due to my gender (female) and nationality as an American. Yep, you got it the majority of yachts owned by wealthy US citizens are owned via Offshore Corporations like the Cayman Islands and do not tend to hire US citizens, and its not due to the cost of wages, they pay the foreigners very well. Its because via an offshore corp a yacht owner can get away with just about anything when hiring and avoidance of US employment tax laws and discrimination law is part of why they hire foreigners for their crew. Conclusion, MOST wealthy US yacht owners with big yachts most of which are flagged offshore do not hire US citizens. just another situation how the wealthy do not create jobs for US citizens. Guess I should be seeking a truck driving job.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  163. johnyou31

    John, in Cincinnati, oh. What do you mean almost $40,000 ? I have been driving a truck over 10 years, and I make over $70,000! I am in a union job, and paid hourly, plus overtime. The problem is the good jobs are hard to get without at least 2 years experience. People just don't want to put the time in at an entry level job, to get the experience.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  164. Virginia AZ

    It is for the same reason handymen don't want to work. I have estimates from licensed and non-licensed contractors. They don't show up for work. I have been trying to get work done on my house for 2 years and have different estimates from more then 10 contractors. I have set aside money for repairs and can't get the work done. It is frustrating! Were are the people who want to work. They are not driving and they are not fixing houses.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  165. Samantha - Florida

    My parents have a trucking company. I'm 30 now and have seen quite a change over the years in who has worked for us. Back when I was a kid most of the drivers were from the US but now most are immigrants. It isn't a glamorous job. Our drivers work long hours, spend a lot of time away from their family and friends, and most people look down upon them – which is sad given how important they are to the economy since pretty much every good is at some point transported on a truck. Add to the hard life, the economic costs for independent owner-operators – including high fuel and insurance – and crazy government regulations- I'm not surprised that there is a surplus of jobs available in the industry.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  166. joe in illinois

    probably because its easier for some to sit on the porch waiting for the mailman to bring their government handout of one form or another instead of putting in an honest days work. not the way i was raised!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  167. Pauline Kinstrey

    That is a good question! Three guesses! The first two don't count! Why would you want to take the initiative to learn something new, put in the hours, and put up with the road hassles when our fatherly government will just send you a check?

    July 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  168. Rick Hannah Urbana, IL.

    1. You work 60 hours a week with no over time.
    2. You work at all hours of the day and night.
    3. Only home 36 to 48 hrs. per week. Do not count on seeing your kids grow up or going to any school Activities.
    4. Job pays the same as it did 25 years ago when you got paid a premium for the harsh job duties.
    5. I am 25 years older. I would probably fall asleep some night at the wheel and rear end your car in traffic killing both of us.
    6. You see the incinsiderate drivers out there. Try stopping 80 tons at 65 MpH when some one cuts you off.
    7. About 1980 they increased the truck weight from 73280 to 80,000 lbs. They did not increase the size of the brake shoes on the truck. It takes longer to stop. If you hit someone that panicsstops their car infront of you you cannot stop as fast. you hit them mabe kill some one. The trains take a mile to stop but they have the right of way trucks do not.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  169. Patrick, Indiana

    I am a veteran truck driver currently looking for a job. Long haul trucking means 2-3 days home a month for most companies, and that is if you are lucky. Try convincing your family that you will only be home 24 days a year! Also professional drivers are exempt from overtime laws if paid hourly. Although some companies respect their drivers and pay OT anyway, many don't. Where is the story about the cause of high turnover in the industry. Then you will find the answers you seek!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  170. Keena Mitchell

    My husband is looking for something local right now they only want him to go over the road in las Vegas, nv

    July 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  171. Christine

    I have been a college professor for 30 years. From about 1990 to now I have experienced a profound and baffling change of attitude in the majority of our young adults.The "pursuit of happiness" now means "I should be happy immediately!" and it's your job to make me happy. I am special. Jobs that are not part of my chosen career are beneath me. Few people are teaching our youth that life rarely works out the way we want it to. Nor are they teaching them how to be happy regardless of their circumstances or that any job is better than no job at all. We have lost the lesson that our grandparents taught us: pride in ourselves and self-reliance.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  172. William J Goldsbury

    Jack you missed it again. I have several friends who were doing these jobs. But guess what 10 years ago they made over 80k 20 years ago over a 100k. So would you do the same job at 1/3 of the former pay. I don't think so. Then they get stuck with the owners costs in order to keep there jobs. The average trucker makes 40k working for the big companies. The others are no where near that. They move to better jobs not at the same pay but closer to home..

    July 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  173. Steven in Murfreesboro, TN

    As an unemployed former white collar worker that spent 7 months in trucking last year... I can tell you why. Here's just a few reasons: 1) You need support at home (ie. grandma, grandpa) In my situation, my young family does not have that support. I wanted to work. My wife couldn't work full time and raise a kid. I was on the road so much, she said she felt like a single mom. Thats not what I got married for. 2) DOT regulations and the Police and the Trucking company make you feel like a criminal on the run... there is so much paranoia in the industry as it relates to safety, insurance, highway laws, CSA2010... take a ride with a trucker and see how it feels when you go through those highway scales or when your hours of service run out and you find yourself stopping the truck on a remote section of highway because the law says you can't go any further 3) Computers are relentless record keepers.... if you don't have a DUI, then maybe your younger than 23, or maybe you don't have more than 12 months experience (the prerequisite for 80% of the companies (100% of the good ones)), or maybe you hopped around from one job to another because so many lured you in with false promises. They find more ways to keep you out than keep you in! Since leaving trucking I had to claim bankruptcy because then I was unemployed and I owed $5900 for the trucking education. Oh yeah...and as for the schooling, it's an endless string of semi-retired truckers berating you and humiliating you for their personal enjoyment. Then when you get a job, they say, "Well WE need to teach you OUR way" and you go through several more weeks of it all over agian while sleeping in a bunk room with 4 other lost, hopeless men that lay there at night wondering how in the hell they got into this mess.
    10-4 good buddy.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  174. Cory

    The trucking industry needs single men to perfom the jobs. Single men are not interested in driving a rig, when they could they could be building a computer rig or creating the next pinterest.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  175. driedgereport

    As anyone knows when we drive full days on the occasion of holidays and the like, it's tiring and stressful to be "on" every moment as one has to be. That work averages less than $40,000 a year? No wonder the middle class can't consume anything any longer. At all goes to the CEO and stock owners of the trucking company I guess.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  176. Scott

    Please do a feature illuminating just what these job "opportunites" really are.

    There was a point in time when even corporations understood that they weren't offering fair wages when no one that is NOT stupid would be interested in applying.

    Am I really employed if I seel hotdogs in the stadium for minimum wage 20 hours a week?
    Am I really employed if I pick tomatos for $3 an hour?
    There is more to this story than how many "jobs" go unfilled. WHY are they unfilled? It goes way beyond "Americans are stupid"!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  177. Lem

    Great way to do the following:
    1. Ruin your back
    2. Spend half of your check on false tickets
    3. Become a foreign object to your family, (increase divorce rate)
    4. Depending on trucking company, (after expenses), probably being more broke, than just staying at home

    July 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  178. Laura L. Nelson, Ph. D.

    Because while young people are very good at taking fill in the bubble multiple guess tests, they can't think their way through more than a simple paragraph. Text, tweet, play, scan, call . . . but God forbid they should need to read though a developed paragraph.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  179. RW

    I did otr truckin' for 25 yrs... Before 9/11 it was pretty cool... NOW,... with all the rules and regulations ya gotta put up with (sorry,.. I'm an "old school" trucker).. ain't no way I'd get back into it.. I had to get out of and sell my own truck due to health reasons 12 yrs ago... and will never go back... If I EVER get back into any kind of commercial driven' job, it would be in a nice "Custom Tour Coach".. I did that for about 5 yrs after I sold my truck and it is ALOT more fun than ANY trucking' job...

    July 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  180. Merlin in Florida

    Two hundred thousand jobs trucking. Humm, the rail freight system could probably reduce those to about 100 trains a week. Good fer the enivronment to..

    July 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  181. Sandstone

    "And you don't need, speed, when you get out age Jack. Like all thoroughbreds as you get older, you just need staying-power!"

    July 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  182. Robert Doman

    Good question Jack. With such a high sustained "official" unemployment rate, and the internet and telephone systems, matching all of these jobs up with unemployed people should be fairly straight forward, so there must be much to these statistics that we are not aware of. I have read that my own country is allowing foreign workers to come to Canada to work in retail and coffee shops because the locals don't want to work for minimum wage (the lowest amount that your employer can pay you by law) With times getting harder perhaps this will change. The long haul truck driver was a poor example for your story because of peak oil. Railways are destined to become more and more important to all of our futures.
    Have a great day folks. By the way Jack, you'd look magnificent in a speedo. A black one of course. ; )

    July 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  183. George

    Jack, let me answer your question about truck driving jobs with a simple question. Would YOU take a job that keeps you away from your family, support system, home, participation with family/community and risks your health and life* for an AVERAGE salary of $40k a year? Your question seems to expose a lack knowledge about the common person's life experience.
    *check stats on health of truck drivers and added risks of this type job

    July 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  184. Gilbert Armendariz

    On our vacation last week, we got to drive a little over 800 miles and see the conditions truckers work under. Leaving out the cost of the school, the getting experience the companies want, the high risk and low return due to rising fuel costs, I guess Mr. Cafferty does not understand working in a dead-end job with long hours, risking a life-long bad back or some other injury has a certain lack of appeal to most American unemployed. I think it would be a great experiment to have Mr. Cafferty go out and knock out a month as a trucker, see if he can put his money where his mouth is. As a former Teamster, I know this job is tougher than it looks on the surface,; my respects to truckers everywhere.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  185. Joan in Michigan

    Send out resumes everyday for over 1yr. Not even a thank you for replying. Most jobs I can do blindfolded, but because I'm over 60 they're not interested. I have more experience, more energy, more smarts and a better work ethic. But they want people who can"fit into our fun culture"–to hell with capability. Just give them their bonus and then they're off to next job in 12 months.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  186. GG

    I am 28 years old guy.came to the United States 2005 (i was 22 then).Then i got my license in 2006 and started to drive for i company near Chicago.
    in 8 months i saved enough money to buy me a truck.started to drive over the road with my own truck.4-5 month later i bought 2 more trucks,got drivers they were driving over the road too..everything was just fine till the end of 2008 then i started to go down due to the crisis.Fuel went up,price for the loads remain almost same...at the 3rd quarter in 2009 sold 2 of the trucks and i was driving my own truck left...even with one truck was not easy and in 2010 i sold even the one truck i had... since the end of 2010 i am driving a company truck and doing loads from Los Angeles,CA to Philadelphia,PA..
    Money are good,but it is hard working job.Too many hours behind the wheel almost no family time (i am single though :) ).
    Also the most important is that the job is not healthy.At the end ur working day if u really make the math u are working for not more than $9 to $9.5 :) :)
    the license at least for me was easy to get it was not a problem at all..but even now i am looking for a better job in the future..
    I dont blame people who doesnt want to start a truck driving job.but if u have to feed ur family is not the worst job in the world...

    July 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  187. Ryan in MT

    Simple, It is too easy to stay at home and collect a check from the government. Working is hard for many of the unemployed. Many of them found high school, college, and everything else too hard so they just quit.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |