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33919-truck_driver

By Chris Isidore, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Can’t find a job? Maybe it’s time to take your search on the road.

The U.S. trucking industry will need to hire about 200,000 drivers by the end of this year, and will need to add another 200,000 by the end of 2011, according to the state of logistics report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

A number of factors will feed into this need for drivers, including retirements, tougher safety regulations designed to get drivers with bad records off the road and the need to replace drivers who were laid-off during the recession, according to the report. Overall the industry lost almost 150,000 driving jobs since the start of 2008.

Rosalyn Wilson, the author of the report that was sponsored by Penske Logistics, said that even with continued high unemployment, motor carriers are going to face a challenge finding drivers needed over the next year and half.

“It’s not a very attractive profession,” she said. “People want jobs, but they also want their quality of life, to be home with their family at the end of the work day.”

The median pay for a trucker stood at $37,730 in May of 2009, and Wilson said that wage probably fell in the last year as miles driven were reduced. But more miles and the driver shortage are likely to increase wages in the years ahead, she said.

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