A new contract deal with UPS won by the Teamsters last month will see the average full-time UPS delivery driver receive a pay increase in salary and benefits to $170k per year, up from $145k, over the next five years. The move makes UPS delivery drivers the highest paid in the nation.

The new pay boost and enhanced employee benefits have caught the eye of job seekers across the US. According to a recent study from Indeed, job searches for “UPS” or “United Parcel Service” increased 50 percent just one week after the announcement.

With such sudden increased competition for aspiring delivery drivers, US Packaging & Wrapping used Google search data to find out which US states are most eager to work as a UPS delivery driver after the pay boost announcement.

Surprisingly, Rhode Island residents are the most interested in securing a delivery driver job with UPS, with 200 searches for UPS job vacancies over the last month.

The result comes despite Rhode Island locals having limited opportunities to secure a delivery driver role with UPS. As the smallest state in the nation, at little over 1,200 square miles, there is just one UPS Customer Center situated in Warwick to service the whole state. 400 package car drivers and 130 tractor-trailer operators work full-time at this facility, in addition to part-time workers.

Despite the high interest, there were no delivery driver positions available at the Rhode Island Warwick Customer Center at the time of the study.

Texas came in second place for the most delivery driver job inquiries, with 176 searches per Customer Center.

Home to 43 UPS Customer Centers, Texas had the second highest number of facilities, missing out on the top spot to California with 69 Customer Centers. With so many centers to apply to, it’s not surprising Texas had one of the highest Google search volumes for driver positions. 7,570 Google searches for delivery driver opportunities were made by Texans during July.

The result is perhaps somewhat unexpected in light of the extreme heat that has been plaguing Texas residents this summer, particularly considering the controversial lack of air conditioning in UPS vehicles.

However, new contract negotiations will see the majority of UPS trucks being fitted with in-cab air conditioning systems from next year. The change could be inspiring more people to consider a delivery driver role even in the hottest US states.

New York took third place as the state with the highest delivery driver job searches, with 146 searches per Customer Center.

As one of the US’ most populated states and home to New York City, the most populated city in the nation, it’s understandable prospective delivery drivers might expect there to be plenty of job opportunities to service the high population of New York.

However, there were just two delivery driver posts available at the time of the study, with both opportunities only available for ‘seasonal’ work.

Job opportunities across the whole of the US have been very limited. Just 14 UPS delivery driver positions were open for applications across UPS’ expansive network of 5,385 locations, highlighting strong demand for delivery driver roles.

The lack of job availability could also be to do with the way UPS structures its hiring processes. According to Bloomberg, a UPS employee aspiring to become a delivery driver must work their way up to the position for several years, usually as a package loader inside a facility.

California and Nevada completed the top five states, with 136 and 135 Google searches per UPS Customer Center.

Charles Haverfield, CEO of US Packaging & Wrapping, commented: “As the largest courier company in the nation, UPS sets the gold standard for many aspiring delivery drivers. And the newly negotiated contracts are only making the role more appealing.

“However, this pay increase could mark the beginning of an already tumultuous inflation problem. UPS has already adjusted its margins to accommodate the loss in revenue, and there are rumblings from other courier workers from the likes of Amazon to push for their own pay increases.

“Only time will tell how the deal will play out on the wider shipping industry, both good and bad.”