The American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costellosaid the turnover rate in the first quarter of the year demonstrated a muddled picture of the labor market for drivers, as the turnover rate at large truckload fleets rose five percentage points, but the rate at smaller fleets dipped four points.

“While the market for drivers in certain segments continues to be tight, we’re seeing the impacts of a softer freight environment,” Costello said. “Despite weaker freight growth, it is clear that there is still strong demand for quality drivers industry wide, which will continue to put carriers under pressure to recruit and keep good ones.”

In the first quarter of the year, the turnover rate at truckload fleets with more than¬†$30 million¬†revenue rose to 83% – lower than 2018’s average rate of 89% and 11 points below a year earlier. At smaller truckload carriers, the rate fell to 73% – exactly where it was in the first quarter of 2018.

Turnover at less-than-truckload fleets ticked up eight points and now stands at 18%, the highest level in fifteen years, but well below truckload driver turnover.