Effects of Regulatory Reform on Unemployment in the Trucking Industry

CED-82-90: Published: Jun 11, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO conducted a study of the effects of deregulation on trucking industry employment.

The Motor Carrier Act substantially reduced Government control of trucking. The Act was designed to make entrance into the industry easier for new firms and stimulate price competition. A GAO analysis indicated that: (1) poor economic conditions, not regulatory reform, have been the likely cause of high unemployment in the trucking industry; (2) the Act brought about increased competition in the trucking industry and resulted in an overall increase in the number of trucking firms in the marketplace; and (3) increased industry competition accelerated a decline in Teamsters Union representation in the trucking industry. GAO also analyzed a Teamsters Union study which supported its testimony that deregulation was the principal cause of about 100,000 Teamsters losing their jobs in the trucking industry. GAO found the union's job loss estimate to be questionable because of deficiencies in the methodology of its study.

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