The Washington Post, owned by the billionaire and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, released a recent article claiming that the rising wages of truckers, along with the shortage of these workers will have a detrimental impact on the economy.
“As the nation faces a historically low level of unemployment, trucking companies are doing what economists have said firms need to do to attract and retain workers: They’re hiking pay significantly, offering bonuses and even recruiting people they previously wouldn’t have considered,” writes The Washington Post. “But it’s not working. The industry reports a growing labor shortage — 63,000 open positions this year, a number expected to more than double in coming years — that could have wide-ranging impacts on the U.S. economy.”
Since there has been a spike in these labor costs, companies like Amazon that depend on cheap truck transport are “forced” to offset that by raising prices.
“Already, delivery delays are common, and businesses such as Amazon, General Mills and Tyson Foods are raising prices as they pass higher transportation costs along to consumers. On a recent call with investors, a Walmart executive called rising transportation costs the company’s primary “head wind,” writes The Washington Post.
According to a recent report from the American Trucking Associations, U.S. freight companies were short by 50,000 truck drivers last year.
With the unemployment rate being so low, transport companies are having difficulty competing for labor.
Trucking jobs are less than desirable. They require long periods on the road away from home. The small cabins of the truck don’t offer comfortable sleeping accommodations and the food options on the road are often unhealthy. With all of this in mind, it’s even more difficult to recruit truckers in the current market.
Not to mention, President Donald Trump has pushed to keep businesses from hiring cheap foreign workers. Breitbart points out that the Democrats stance on immigration is perhaps a self-serving one. The nation’s previous loose asylum laws allowed immigrants to be imported to work as low-cost labor.
“But Trump has used his legal authority to curb illegal immigration over the Mexican border, sharply lowered the inflow of workers via the refugee agencies, and has minimized the growth of the guest-worker programs. He has also blocked a business push in Congress for another amnesty of ‘dreamers’ and other illegals, as well as for a huge expansion in the number of guest-workers,” writes Breitbart. ”Trump’s opposition has forced business groups to lower their amnesty goals down to just 1.8 million illegals. House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed that medium-sized amnesty goal in June but was blocked by 112 GOP House legislators.”
The federal government provides green cards to 1 million legal immigrants and temporary work-permits to 3 million foreign workers.
Although cheap labor helps to spike company profits, real estate prices, along with state and local taxes increase. Then there’s the 5 million Americans who are losing out on these jobs because they can’t compete with cheap labor.
But with less imported foreign labor, more companies are forced to hire more Americans.
This isn’t the first time The Washington Post has covered this issue in the last month either. The publication went as far as to say that the transport industry is driving the spike in inflation.
“These trends, along with rising fuel costs and strong consumer demand for shipped goods, are driving the price of freight sky high — up from last year by about four times the rate of inflation, and the worst may be yet to come. Demand for truck space is growing while supply is shrinking. Given that 70 percent of America’s freight moves by highway, this runaway cost engine is felt in all corners of the economy,” writes The Washington Post.
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