One in four of Canada’s truck drivers are between the ages of 55-64, outpacing the overall share of Canadian workers approaching retirement age.
The observation, released by Trucking HR Canada, come on the heels of recent Statistics Canada data that shows one in five people (21.8%) in the overall workforce falls within that demographic group.
Statistics Canada is scheduled to release its transportation-related demographic information this fall.
“Canada’s trucking and logistics sector was already grappling with a workforce that is older than average, especially among drivers,” notes Trucking HR Canada’s latest Driving Economic Recovery report. To compound matters, a 2019 study projected Canada would be short 55,000 drivers by 2023.
Workers between the ages of 15 and 24 were more likely to be laid off or exit the labor force as some firms opted to retain experience at the height of the pandemic, Trucking HR Canada adds, referring to recent research and employer surveys.
The pool of these young drivers shrank 38% in January 2021, when compared to the previous year.
“There is still more work to be done to recruit and retain young Canadians into our workforce,” said chief program officer Craig Faucette in a press release.
But training and wage subsidies are helping to improve employment opportunities for younger workers, Trucking HR Canada adds.
Women accounted for just 3.7% of Canada’s employed truck drivers in the first half of 2020, but 15.9% of the decline in truck driving jobs in the second quarter of 2020, although the numbers recovered to pre-pandemic levels by June 2021.
While women continue to represent a fraction of truck drivers overall, the number of female delivery drivers increased from an average of 9,400 in 2019 to 14,600 in June 2021.