September 6, 2022

NRMCA 2022 Mixer Driver Recruitment & Retention Survey Shows Ready Mixed Concrete Industry Experienced the Great Resignation

Alexandria, VA – September 6, 2022

The ready mixed concrete industry has followed what federal labor statisticians have labeled the “Year of the Great Resignation” for 2021. An analysis of the data received for NRMCA’s Mixer Driver Recruitment & Retention Survey showed that 28 of every 100 drivers hired in 2021 quit at some point during the year, 3% above the reported U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ national resignation rate of 25%.

The latest figures continue a trend that began at least seven years ago when survey respondents cited low pay and inconsistent daily schedules as the top two reasons they quit their jobs. When asked where former employees went, first place was tied between taking a job with a competitor or a short-haul commercial driving job outside the industry. Those reasons have been listed as the two top reasons for seven consecutive years.

In 2021, the industry hired approximately 39% (29,000) of the United States mixer driver pool. With the ongoing national commercially licensed driver shortage, it was not surprising 71% reported their biggest hiring challenge was too small a hiring pool. Coming in second was finding drivers with ready mixed concrete experience. In the past four years, NRMCA Producer members willing to hire new CDLs grew from 51% to 68%, although the actual number hired was only 4.5% of the driver pool. In the past five years, producers willing to hire 18–21-year-old CDLs increased 25%, but regional differences were dramatic, from a 93% high in the North Central states to a 36% low in the Southeast.

In the five years represented in this year’s survey, NRMCA calculates ready mixed concrete production grew 9% while the mixer driver population continues to hold steady for the eighth year, at about 75,000, This might suggest why 70% of survey participants report they lost business due to their company’s driver shortage.

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: “cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum products” workers. Tenure median continued at seven years, while tenure for all American workers was 4.1 years, as reported in 2020.

NRMCA’s Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey is sponsored by the Workforce Development Committee. It annually collects mixer driver-specific hiring rates, vacancy rates, hiring trends and challenges, and the projected hire for the current calendar year. It also reports retention rates, turnover rates, reasons for termination as well as why mixer drivers quit, and driver demographics, including average age, tenure, internal job mobility, and union membership rate. 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. A five-year-summary report is published in NRMCA’s Concrete InFocus magazine.

The 2022 Executive Summary is available to all. The full survey report is available to NRMCA members.

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