Truck drivers among most sought after employees in online ads

Empire resident Matt Ash decided to make a change last year when jobs began drying up for the home improvement business that he operated. “I really liked what I was doing, but I just wasn’t finding enough work to bring in enough money,” Ash said. Ash noticed that most of the listings in the local classifieds section were for truck drivers. With financial assistance from AARP’s Back to Work 50+ program at Bevill State Community College, he was able to get the training he needed and got a job as a driver for Piggly Wiggly last July. The demand for truck drivers remains high in the state. There were more than 3,600 job openings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers posted online in May, the most of any occupation, according to statistics released recently by the Alabama Department of Labor. Registered nurses ranked second with 2,145 online ads placed in May. The data was compiled from all online job postings in the state, including those listed at, the state’s free online jobs database.

“More than half of our top advertised jobs have average hourly salaries of more than $20,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor. “These are good paying jobs and employers need qualified employees. We remain committed to assisting both jobseekers and employers in order put Alabamians back to work.” The average hourly wage for truck drivers is $20.15, while registered nurses earn $27.82 per hour, according to the department’s press release. In all, there were 41,462 online ads in May, of which slightly more than 19,000 were new. The department confirmed 124,861 unemployed workers in the state, which equates to three unemployed persons for every job ad. According to the date, the demand for registered nurses increased by 30 percent since last May, when 1,642 online ads were placed. Seven of the top 10 occupations with the most online ads, including truck driving, experienced a drop in demand since last May. The number of ads posted for food preparation and service, including fast food, doubled from 394 ads in May 2015 to 602 ads in May 2016. The average hourly wage for those jobs was $8.56. The top three employers posting ads in May were Pizza Hut (1,124), St. Vincent’s Health System (676) and UAB Medicine (596).