Tennessee employers need more truckers, engineers, IT specialists

Robert Perez, a long-haul trucker from McAllen, Tex., talks about the profession as he stops at the I-24 rest area west of downtown on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Tennessee employers are filling only a portion of the available jobs in the state for truck drivers, industrial engineers and computer system analysts, according to a new study prepared for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Employers needing heavy- and tractor-trailer drivers are filling less than 12 percent of the jobs they have posted, creating an average monthly shortfall of 21,934 drivers in Tennessee. The Center for Economic Research in Tennessee, which conducts the employment analysis each year to help schools and colleges know jobs in most demand, estimates the demand for truck drivers in Tennessee will grow by 6,000 jobs in the next decade as thousands of Baby Boomer drivers retire.

Employers in the Volunteer State are filling only about one of every four available industrial engineering jobs, leaving a monthly gap of 755 industrial engineering jobs in Tennessee.