Manitoba’s transport trucking industry is facing labour shortages

A new report predicts that Manitoba will see consistent job growth over the next few years; however, there are many industries and sectors that will face labour shortages, including the trucking industry.

On Friday, the Manitoba government released the Labour Market Outlook report for 2022 to 2026, which shows that the overall labour supply is about equal to labour market demand. The data also shows that employers in many sectors will continue to face challenges due to labour gaps and shortages.

One sector that is facing these shortages is the transport trucking industry, which has an expected annual labour gap of 470 workers.

According to Aaron Dolyniuk, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, this shortage is fueled by a growing economy and truck drivers opting to leave or retire from the field.

“The report outlines that there are net openings over the next four years of 4,300 people,” he said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Monday.

Dolyniuk said he’s unsure why young people are not wanting to work in the industry, but it’s something his organization is working on.

“I would say in some ways it’s the perfect storm coming out of the pandemic,” he said.

“It was really challenging for a while to be a truck driver. Having washroom access, having access to restaurants for a while was a problem. I think a lot of people took the opportunity to say, ‘Okay, I’m moving on.’”

Going forward, Dolyniuk would like to see a provincial and national strategy to deal with this issue, as the trucking sector impacts every other industry.

“We’re moving the goods that every other industry needs, so it’s something that we need to take seriously,” he said, noting that the trucking industry brings $4 billion to Manitoba’s GDP.

Dolyniuk said trucking industry labour shortages aren’t specific to Manitoba, but are also being seen across Canada and in the United States as well.