There are currently 100,000 long haul trucker positions open because no one wants them.
Eric Limbeck
1156

There is reason to be concerned, that things will be different this time. When the industrial revolution happened and people were being forced out of farms, there were labor-intensive factories ready and eager to take them in, even if for minimum wages. This time around, most industries are steadily reducing their labor component and the new industries being created don’t employ nearly as many. For example, an average datacenter employs only 50 people. Even if all 3.5M truckers can make this transition (which they can’t), there is simply no 70,000 datacenters, nor will factories or any other industries other than minimum wage jobs to take them if even that.

Even for jobs directly related to automated trucks, there are never going to be nearly as many jobs as there are truckers. You need at least 1:1 trucker per truck and perhaps more, but you need much fewer mechanics, tows, gas station attendants, etc. as these can service dozens if not hundreds of trucks and these too will soon be mostly automated. Even if all truckers can make this transition, there will never be enough jobs to take them all.

There will certainly be “pay raises” for families who no longer have to pay for cars and can pay less for housing, but for families of truckers there will be a large pay drop as their middle-income jobs cease to exist and they have to make do with minimum wage jobs in fields they have no training and experience until years later. So the families of non-truckers will be richer and the families of truckers will be a lot poorer.

Yes the society and capitalism will make this transition, with a lot of impoverished families and even more income inequality than the already severe inequality we have now when this is all over. We will soon be in an economy with a few rich information workers and masses of impoverished minimum wage earners competing for the few disappearing jobs. Truckers are only the beginning.

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