Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff
An analysis of National Ready Mixed Concrete Association 2022 Mixer Driver Recruitment & Retention Survey data shows that 28 of every 100 drivers hired in 2021 quit at some point during the year. That places ready mixed producers 3 percent above the national resignation rate, 25 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported for last year.
The figures continue a trend that began at least seven years ago, when Mixer Driver & Recruitment Survey respondents cited low pay and inconsistent daily schedules as the top two reasons drivers quit. When asked where former employees went, respondents indicated in equal measure—and for a seventh consecutive year of the survey—the top two destinations: a competitor or short-haul commercial trucking operator outside the industry.
Survey respondents hired 29,000 drivers in 2021, equivalent to 39 percent of the industry’s estimated ready mixed delivery professional pool. Consistent with reports of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder shortages coast to coast, 71 percent of producers represented in the survey report that their biggest hiring challenges are the dearth of candidates overall and drivers with concrete delivery experience. Consequently, NRMCA producer members willing to hire new CDL holders grew from 51 percent to 68 percent in the past four years, although the actual number hired was only 4.5 percent of the driver pool. In the past five years, producers willing to recruit 18-21-year-old CDL holders increased 25 percent, albeit with dramatic regional differences: From a 93 percent high in the North Central states to a 36 percent low in the Southeast.
BUSINESS LOST TO DRIVER DEARTH
Mixer drivers’ median age remained at 47.0 years for the third year in a row. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the 2021 median age of a truck transportation worker was 46.4 years and 45.5 years for durable goods manufacturing, including “cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum products” sector workers. Tenure median continued at seven years, while tenure for all American workers was 4.1 years, as reported in 2020.
The NRMCA Workforce Development Committee sponsors the Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey, annually collecting driver-specific hiring and vacancy rates, hiring trends and challenges, and the projected hire for the current calendar year. It also tracks retention and turnover rates; reasons for termination or quitting; and, driver demographics, including average age, tenure, internal job mobility, and union membership. Finally, the survey gathers numerous data points about first-year mixer drivers. Data is gathered anonymously online in early summer and reported in early fall. Analysis includes comparative statistics by year, region and company size.