• ITVI.USA
    12,649.840
    -133.150
    -1%
  • OTRI.USA
    27.930
    -0.300
    -1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,598.890
    -131.290
    -1%
  • TLT.USA
    3.230
    -0.060
    -1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.890
    0.260
    9.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    -0.150
    -4.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.280
    0.100
    8.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.000
    -0.210
    -6.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.750
    0.120
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.280
    -0.080
    -2.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    121.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    12,649.840
    -133.150
    -1%
  • OTRI.USA
    27.930
    -0.300
    -1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,598.890
    -131.290
    -1%
  • TLT.USA
    3.230
    -0.060
    -1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.890
    0.260
    9.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    -0.150
    -4.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.280
    0.100
    8.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.000
    -0.210
    -6.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.750
    0.120
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.280
    -0.080
    -2.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    121.000
    1.000
    0.8%
Driver issuesNewsTrucking

Data from StayMetrics shows drivers resumed switching jobs at usual rate

Driver retention during the first months of the pandemic was significantly stronger than in recent years, according to new data released by StayMetrics, but drivers are on the move once again. 

A report published by StayMetrics on Monday backs up a statement made by U.S. Xpress CEO Eric Fuller on the company’s first-quarter earnings call: “We could probably go back 10-plus years and we probably haven’t had a period of 4 to 6 weeks where we’ve seen our turnover where it is right now.”

The data released by StayMetrics doesn’t go back that far, but it does show that turnover decreased significantly for drivers hired in March and April compared to the prior two years. But by May of this year, turnover already had gone back to more normal levels and had started to exceed that of 2019 and 2018. 

The data provided by StayMetrics is defined by the company as showing “the number of drivers hired by carrier clients each month and the percentage remaining at specific milestones after their date of hire: 7 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, etc.”

For example, the StayMetrics data shows that for drivers hired in March 2020, 83.1% were still on the job after 45 days. But a year earlier in March, that figure was 77.6%. And in 2018, the figure was 78.7%, indicating higher retention this year early in the pandemic. 

For drivers hired in April 2020 and still on the job after 45 days, that retention number was 81.1%. But in April 2019, the number of drivers in that category was 77.3%. In 2018, it was 79.4%.

But as you go later into the calendar, it shows how much things were getting back to normal into the summer. A look at the first 45 days of somebody hired in March might only take you out to mid-April to mid-May. 

The table reflects the percentage of drivers who joined in the listed month 45 and 60 days after they were hired. Source: StayMetrics. The average includes months that are not listed but which are available through StayMetrics.

For example, the StayMetrics data for 60 days shows that 78.6% of drivers hired in March 2020 were still on the job 60 days later. That figure alone shows less retention than for drivers hired in March. But it was still elevated compared to earlier years; it was 72% in 2019 and 74.4% in 2018.

But looking at the figures for May, it’s clear that normalcy had returned. According to the StayMetrics data, 70.7% of the drivers hired in May 2020 were still on the job 60 days later. A year earlier, it was 72.9% and two years earlier, it was 74.4%, indicating more turnover in 2020 than in the two prior years. 

Those sorts of numbers clearly show that any “stay where you are” mentality that took hold of drivers in the first days of the pandemic may have lasted 45 days out — which would have been only into May for drivers hired in March — but by this summer, it was back to normal. 

More articles by John Kingston

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.
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