A recent trend in the state of the driver labor marketthat really caught my eye, and illustrates how we think timely information can help carriers adapt to changes, wasa dramatic change in thedriving experience of applicants.In 2008,the years of driving experience for applicants across ourcustomer basestayed in a pretty narrow range. From a low of 6.4 years of driving experience in June to a high of 7.2 years in January, the experience level stayed within about 6 months.This average held constant for the duration of 2008. Suddenly, in February of 2009, the driving experience level of applicants shot up to 12.1 years, almost double the previous levels. This increase continued into March (19.2 years) and April (11.6 years).
In reviewing the applicant pool for June '09, we saw the average driving experience levels rise more than 6 months over that of June '08, although they dropped markedly from a few months prior.
So... what happened? For a brief period, the driver labor market exploded witha lot of experienced candidates who were actively looking for jobs.Given that information, companies could react in a couple of ways. One response might be to raise theminimum experience required. Another might be changing the way you evaluate drivers' applications,perhaps giving less weight to their experience and more to their safety record.When you follow up on applicants who turned down your offer, you may want to focus on applications from Feb, March & April of this year, and see if your application averages trended the same way.
What happened after this flood of drivers with 12-19 years of experience hit the market was that they weren't out there for long; the market absorbed them. While the experience levels for May & June of '09 are stillhigher than May & June of '08, they're back within historical norms.
I hope you found this information as intriguing as I did.In thefuturewe'll be looking toprovidemore data and analysison changes within the driver labor pool across the industry. That data will include experience levels andsafety records of applicants and hired drivers, what time of the day they apply, and what percentages of applications are getting acted on by carriers.Plus anything else we can think of that would interest and benefit the industry.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.