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Driver Recruiting Weekly Report – June 9, 2021

Despite Memorial Day, the click rate on truck driver postings increased significantly while search rates remained largely flat. Join us as go through a full breakdown of all the numbers as well as covering our story of the week.
This week’s story – the trucking industry added nearly 11,000 jobs in May, but the seasonally adjusted truck transportation employment number actually decreased by almost 2,000 jobs! How is this possible? Check out the full report for more.

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Numbers At A Glance – June 9, 2021

Truck Driver Searches

WoW: ≡ Flat
MoM: Δ Up 5%
YoY: Δ Up 20%

Load Volume

WoW: ∇ Down 16%

 Volume by Segment

WoW: Dry Van ∇ Down 18%
WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 23%
WoW: Flatbed ∇ Down 15%

Spot Rates

WoW: ∇ Down 3¢ per mile

Clicks On Truck Driver Postings

WoW: Δ Up 24%
MoM: Δ Up 30%
YoY: Δ Up 21%

 Truck Postings

WoW: ∇ Down 12%

 Truck Posting by Segment

WoW: Dry Van ∇ Down 11%
WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 7%
WoW: Flatbed ∇ Down 10%

 Rates by Segment

WoW: Dry Van ∇ Down 5¢ per mile  
WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 16¢ per mile
WoW: Flatbed ∇ Down 2¢ per mile

June 9, 2021 Driver Recruiting Insights

Would you like to have your own copy of the trucking industry data? All of the information covered in this week’s report for June 9, 2021, is available for your convenience in PDF form below.

Click the image to download the June 9, 2021, Driver Recruiting Insights PDF.

Driver Recruiting Insights - June 9, 2021

Weekly Report – June 9, 2021 Transcript

Welcome to the show that takes a look back to help you move forward. For Randall-Reilly, I’m Joshua Miller; let’s get to the Report for Wednesday, June 9th, 2021.

THIS WEEK IN JOB BOARD SEARCHES AND CLICKS

Truck driver searches were FLAT WoW and up 5% MoM and 20% YoY. Meanwhile clicks on truck driver postings were up across the board; 24% WoW, 30% MoM, and 21% YoY.
Click activity on driver postings reached its highest level since April of 2020 despite a holiday falling on a Monday. If you were with us last week, you’ll recall I mentioned Mondays are typically high traffic and click days except for holidays. With searches remaining flat that increase in click-rate is even more impressive and means that the increase was substantial from one week to the next.
That click rate increase remained consistent throughout all major job types while searches were flat or down just slightly with each. Clicks on trainee or inexperienced truck driver posts saw the largest increase with a jump of 46% WoW.
Only time will tell but this increase could mean that more and more people are thinking of a career in trucking. If this does turn out to be the case it would be a major positive as most fleets are still struggling to fill trucks and replace veteran drivers who have retired or those who left the industry as a result of the pandemic.
Trainee and inexperienced driver posts weren’t the only ones to see big increases though. Clicks on company driver posts increased by 20%, owner-operator post clicks were up 16%, and team driver posts saw gains of 9% WoW.

THIS WEEK IN FREIGHT

Load postings took a major hit due to Memorial Day and decreased by 16% WoW. This is the biggest drop we’ve seen this year; however, this is almost certainly a direct result of the holiday so there’s no need to panic at the moment.
All three major haul segments continued the downward trend with postings for dry van down by 18% WoW, refrigerated was down 23%, and flatbed dropped by 15% WoW.
Truck availability on the spot market also fell, notching a drop of 12% WoW. Dry van was down 11%, refrigerated dropped 7%, and flatbed was down by 10% WoW. And these drops come as the ratio of loads to trucks fell to its lowest level in six weeks.
Spot rates were down 3¢ per mile WoW with all three key segments declining. Dry van was down 5¢, refrigerated dropped by 16¢, and flatbed dipped by 2¢ WoW.
Now I know that’s a lot of drops and a lot of red numbers over there, but again just keep in mind these numbers are most likely largely due to the holiday. We’ll see now the spot market responds and if it’s able to bounce back on next week’s report.

NOW FOR OUR STORY OF THE WEEK

I’ve good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good. Good news is trucking transportation added nearly 11,000 jobs in May (10,800 to be precise). Now for the bad news … those are raw numbers and don’t account for seasonality, which is what most economists tend to focus on.
The seasonal adjustment algorithm expected 12,700 jobs to be added in May based on previous years. So … with the expectation being 12,700 jobs and only 10,800 jobs actually being added, the seasonally adjusted truck transportation number actually decreased by 1,900 jobs.
This seasonally adjusted data “attempts to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment change from month to month.”
However, due to the massive changes we’ve seen to … just about everything because of Covid-19, it’s unclear at this moment if trucking’s past structure will continue to hold. Meaning, trucking’s seasonality employment trends, and patterns may have changed in all this, but there’s not enough data to confirm or refute this just yet.
One thing that could have an influence on all of this is the number of hours drivers are working. With fleets struggling to find more drivers, the drivers they do have are working more hours than ever before.
The average weekly hours worked for nonsupervisory employees in trucking hit 43.4 in the month of April. For some context, the average was only 41.9 hours from 2015-2019. When you take all these extra hours into account, it’s the equivalent of adding 24,000 new workers.
That’s basically a fancy way of saying as trucking companies are struggling to fill seats the existing drivers are picking up the slack by driving more and the extra hours they have accrued are around the same amount of work hours 24,000 new drivers would have contributed.
And that brings us to a unique realization. Because fleets are struggling to fill seats, their current drivers are logging more hours; but because drivers are logging more hours, they have less time and subsequently most likely less desire to search for a different job.
That does it for this week’s report. Come on back next week and see us for all the latest driver recruiting data. The new report will debut Wednesday morning on the Randall-Reilly blog and over on our YouTube channel. We’ve also got all kinds of other video content in both of those locations as well. Until next time, have a great week everybody.