At least one industry is seeing ballooning wage growth, while wages go nowhere for virtually everyone else.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the average pay for truck drivers had grown 17% in the past two years. Wages grew 4% across the board during the same period.
It has worked for truck drivers like this: The US dollar has rapidly strengthened in the past year, making it cheaper to buy goods from other countries with weaker currencies.
Consequently, imports have grown. This year, in fact, the trade deficit, or the excess of imports over exports, has grown to the highest levels in seven years.
All these imported goods need to be moved from ports to the hands of consumers, and that’s why demand for truck drivers has surged, and they are more expensive.
According to The Journal, some shippers, now facing higher costs, are finding ways to avoid hiring truck drivers altogether.
Truck drivers are enjoying a boom while wages go nowhere for much of the rest of the country (unless you adjust for inflation). The National Transportation Institute has even published a report to help fleet managers know whether they are paying drivers a premium compared with the industry average.