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Hiring, turnover increases indicate economic recovery: ATA economist

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Hiring in the trucking industry in the US picked up in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to American Trucking Association's quarterly trucking activity report.


ARLINGTON, Va. — Hiring in the trucking industry in the US picked up in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to American Trucking Association’s quarterly trucking activity report.

The report showed truckload and less-than-truckload carriers increased payrolls in the last three months of 2010. Small truckload companies increased their employment by 0.8%, all within the driver pool, while large truckload companies boosted total employment by 0.3%, adding line-haul drivers, but trimming back their local driver pools.
 
Also in the truckload sector, fleets increased their dispatch workforce by 3.1%, but overall administrative staff fell by 2.1%.
 
Less-than-truckload employment rose 0.4%, rising in all categories except for line-haul drivers, which fell 0.2%, according to the survey.
 
The survey also showed that after hitting a record low of 39% in the first quarter, turnover among line-haul drivers at large truckload fleets rose to 69% (annualized rate) in the fourth quarter, its highest level since the second quarter of 2008. Third-quarter turnover was 49%.
 
Turnover at small truckload fleets rose to 49% in the fourth quarter from 44% and LTL turnover remained exceptionally low at 6%.
 
ATA chief economist Bob Costello said the increased hiring, coupled with rising turnover, indicated that fleets are responding to signs of the growing economic recovery.
 
“Fleets are clearly hiring more drivers as demand for freight hauling increases,” Costello said. “In addition, while part of the turnover can be attributed to regulatory changes, we believe the bulk of this churn is due to increased demand for drivers.”
 
“As the recovery strengthens, we’re likely to see demand for drivers and trucking services continue to increase, with that demand manifesting itself in rising turnover rates and ultimately, once again, a shortage of truck drivers,” he added.


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