As States Reopen, Have Businesses Followed Suit?

Kronos Incorporated today issued its update on U.S. workforce activity for the week of May 18-24, 2020.

According to the report, which analyzes aggregated and anonymized weekly data from approximately 30,000 businesses with 3.2 million employees, total shifts worked increased modestly for the sixth consecutive week.

Employee shifts worked are now up 17% since week ending April 12, which appears to represent “the bottom” of workplace activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the overall volume of shifts worked remains down 24% between the weeks ending March 15 and May 24, meaning one out of every four shifts worked prior to the pandemic has yet to return.

Since the week ending March 15, when the U.S. declared a national state of emergency, Rhode Island (-62.9%), Nevada (-53.6%), and Connecticut (-50.7%) remain the three states hit hardest by declines in employee shift work.

Sixteen states still measure declines in shift work above 30%, compared to 25 states for the week ending May 3, signaling a gradual stabilization may be continuing.

In Georgia, shifts worked are up 41% since businesses began reopening April 24, while Massachusetts experienced a 4% week-over-week increase since reopening May 18.

Shift growth in Washington State, the first state to issue an emergency declaration, appears to have plateaued with less than 1% growth over the last three weeks despite still being down 23% compared to pre-pandemic norms.

Measured nationally, industry-specific activity improved week-over-week, but remains down from week ending March 15: public sector (-42%), services and distribution (-29%), retail, hospitality, and food service (-24%), manufacturing (-23%), and healthcare (-11%.)

Employee terminations appear to have peaked, as the rate of separations are down 17% since week ending April 19.

However, hiring remains stalled, down 39% since week ending March 15. Employee pay statements are down just 6% since the beginning of the pandemic.

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