Stay Metrics’ Driver Turnover & Retention Update: Q2 2021

Have you found yourself wondering if the trends you’re seeing in your driver retention data are similar to what other carriers have been experiencing? Stay Metrics, now owned by Tenstreet, believes in sharing its retention knowledge to strengthen the industry. Below is our Stay Days Table and Turnover Report, updated for Q2, 2021. 2020 and 2021 have been uncertain times for the trucking industry. These tables and insights are meant to help carriers as they look to the future so they can overcome their own challenges and keep drivers longer. Are you interested in learning more about our survey and rewards tools that can help you increase retention? Contact us today!

Q2 Reports

The Stay Days Table serves as a “survivor” chart tracking how long recently hired drivers are staying with their carriers, while our turnover chart provides additional detail into driver employment trends among carriers.

Stay Days Table


Monthly Annualized Driver Turnover


Stay Metrics’ Take

  • Fluctuation continues – As we first shared in our Q1 update, October and November 2020 Stay Days retention numbers looked similar to the corresponding monthly numbers from the year before. While additional retention numbers for October and November 2020 continue to share those similarities (along with January ’21 compared to January ’20), there was great fluctuation in retention numbers when comparing December and February with their corresponding prior years. In both cases, retention was much higher recently. The lingering effects of the pandemic on the economy, along with state lockdown orders and uncertainty surrounding the vaccine rollout, likely still affected the trucking industry. Interestingly though, the 7-day monthly retention rate for March ’21 is the third lowest on our chart. This could be an early indication of retention rates moving back downward, and is something we will continue to track.
  • COVID insights – Our Q1 Stay Days Table previously showed the drastic effect of COVID on March ’20 retention numbers, with drivers hired that month likely staying longer in their new jobs due to many national and global uncertainties. While March ’20 showed a significant increase in new driver retention for carriers initially, July ’20 showed longer-lasting effects, with the highest retention numbers for 60, 90, 120, 180, and 270 days on our report. Contrast this with July ’19, which showed a small increase in retention compared to June, but not nearly as big of a jump as was seen this past year.
  • Turnover has been creeping back up – As states continued to open their doors a little further in 2021, turnover steadily increased for carriers in our report. Each month of Q1 ’21 saw annualized turnover go up, getting this number closer to more typical levels. We will be curious to see April turnover and whether it looks more similar to April ’20, which saw a precipitous drop, or if it climbs to be more in line with April ’19.
With the current driver shortage, until the number of new drivers entering the market increases, the carriers that place a specific emphasis on retaining current drivers will be at a significant advantage. As news like this recent article on CNN.com showcases, the demand for capacity in many industries will likely increase as the nation and world eases out of the pandemic, but the supply of new-to-the-industry drivers may not keep up. Are you also interested in knowing how your recruitment efforts stack up? Check out our recent blog post featuring trends Tenstreet is seeing in hiring and recruiting.
Notes On Data
For this Q2, 2021 dataset, Stay Metrics (SM) chose to include data from 29 clients, based on their lengthy duration as clients and the quality of their data. For the analyses, data were aggregated to the client level, then averaged across clients. As this is based on SM clients, results could differ from the industry.

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