How a little-known 1980 law slashed pay for millions of truck drivers and created big-box retail as we know it

In 2020, truck drivers work a median of 60 hours a week, according to a 2010 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. One in five reported logging more than 75 hours.

At the same time, their pay has sunk. In the late 1970s, driver salaries were up to 50% higher than they are today, even when accounting for inflation, according to Wayne State University economics professor Michael Belzer.