Businesses Ramp Up Shift Work Ahead of Summer Season, According to UKG Workforce Activity Report

June 29, 2021, LOWELL, Mass., and WESTON, Fla.

National Overview:

High-frequency shift work1 data from UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) increased 2.0% during June’s mid-month week, which is the same week utilized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure employment gains. UKG expects June job creation to surpass May (+559,000) but fall short of March (+785,000), as detailed in the updated UKG Workforce Activity Report.


Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG
“As we head into the Independence Day holiday, we’re starting to see an acceleration in business activity, especially as the tourism and hospitality sector experiences a significant upswing with the kickoff of the summer season. After a disappointing April, we saw a slight rebound in May, followed by relatively strong acceleration in June. We have a long way to go, but this month’s growth should set us up well for the rest of the summer. Still, some obstacles remain. Smaller businesses are facing even stronger headwinds to attract and hire enough employees, as larger businesses begin to flex their financial muscles by offering attractive benefits like sign-on bonuses to lure available talent.”

Recovery Scale:

The UKG Workforce Recovery Scale — which compares today’s shift work with pre-pandemic levels — is now at 86.7, which is its highest level so far in 2021.

Business Size:

Larger organizations may be putting the squeeze on smaller businesses as consumer demand continues to ramp up:

  • Fewer than 100 employees: 1.9%
  • 101-500: 1.6%
  • 501-1,000: 1.5%
  • 1,001-2,500: 0.5%
  • 2,501-5,000: 5.6%
  • More than 5,000: 4.0%

Industry Analysis:

Tourism and hospitality are anchoring the recovery, while healthcare has declined for the eighth time in nine months:

  • Retail, hospitality, and food service: 3.6%
  • Services and distribution: 2.4%
  • Manufacturing: 1.9%
  • Healthcare: -0.7%


The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high-frequency index measuring U.S. shift work for 3.3 million employees across 35,000 organizations. By measuring how often employees are working week by week with real data, economists can better understand the current and future health of the U.S. economy.

About UKG

At UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), our purpose is people. Built from a merger that created one of the largest cloud companies in the world, UKG believes organizations succeed when they focus on their people. As a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, UKG delivers award-winning Pro, Dimensions, and Ready solutions to help tens of thousands of organizations across geographies and in every industry drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, streamline the payroll process, and help make work a better, more connected experience for everyone. UKG has 13,000 employees around the globe and is known for an inclusive workplace culture. The company has earned numerous awards for culture, products, and services, including consecutive years on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. To learn more, visit

Footnote 1: “Shifts worked” is a total derived from aggregated employee time and attendance data and reflects the number of times that employees, especially those who are paid hourly or must be physically present at a workplace to perform their jobs, “clock in” and “clock out” via a time clock, mobile app, computer, or other device at the beginning and end of each shift.

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