Businesses Recover Half of Shifts Lost During COVID-19 Pandemic, Hiring Remains Anemic

Kronos U.S. Workforce Activity Report Shows Total Shifts Worked Continues to Increase, but Terminations Outpace New Hires 2.5 to 1
June 16, 2020, LOWELL, Mass.

National Overview: 

Kronos Incorporated today announced that half (50%) of employee shifts1 eliminated during the COVID-19 pandemic have recovered. The Kronos U.S. Workforce Activity Report for June 8-14, 2020 also shows that employees are working 27% more shifts compared to the week ending April 12, 2020, which marked “the bottom” of employee shift work volume during the pandemic, continuing a gradual but steady 9-week increase in shifts worked as states execute various phased re-opening plans.

Job Growth:

Employee terminations2 for the week of June 8-14 outpaced new hires3 by a ratio of approximately 2.5-to-1, meaning for every 2.5 terminations there was only 1 new hire. While this is an improvement over the 3.4-to-1 terminations-to-hiring ratio the week ending March 29 – the same week the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its lowest point during the pandemic – it lags dramatically behind the pre-pandemic ratio of 1-to-1, which indicates healthy job creation and turnover in a strong economy.

State Snapshot:

Only seven states experienced week-over-week declines in shift work: Alaska (-5.5%), Florida (-0.5%), Hawaii (-1%), Missouri (-0.2%), Nebraska (-0.2%), North Dakota (-0.2%), and South Carolina (-6.6%). Nevada, which at its peak was the hardest-hit state in terms of overall shifts lost (-75%) since the start of the pandemic, now ranks 31st (-14% overall). Rhode Island (-58%), Connecticut (-46%), South Carolina (-40%), Massachusetts (-38%), and Utah (-38%) are the top five states hardest hit by lost shifts since the week ending March 15.

Industry Analysis:

Every industry sector continues to make significant strides in recovering employee shifts: Healthcare is now down just 8% from pre-pandemic shift levels; manufacturing is down just 16%; retail, hospitality, and food service is down 19%; services and distribution – which includes logistics and distribution, financial services, staffing, call centers, nonprofits, and other field and contract services –  is down 22%; and public sector, which is now grappling with anticipated budget shortfalls generated by declines in tax receipts due to state shutdowns, has increased shifts 47.5% since the week ending April 12, but remains down 34% overall.


Dave Gilbertson, vice president, HCM practice group, Kronos
“While shiftwork continues to rebound on a gradual and steady basis, those shifts are being worked by those still on the payroll or returning from furlough. New hiring remains stalled. With flexibility recently added to the Payroll Protection Program, business owners are likely watching for assurances that consumer demand will be high while COVID-19 cases remain low during the summer season before making long-term decisions about job creation.”


The Kronos U.S. Workforce Activity Report provides near real-time insights into workplace activity for the immediate preceding week. The report is currently analyzed and released weekly and inclusive of data through June 14. Historical reports, beginning April 13-19, 2020 are available at

Supporting Resources

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Kronos merged with Ultimate Software on April 1, 2020, to create one of the world’s most innovative HCM and workforce management companies. Visit Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

About Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software is a leading global provider of cloud human capital management (HCM) and employee experience solutions, with more than 51 million people records in the cloud. Ultimate’s award-winning UltiPro delivers HR, payroll, talent, and time and labor management, as well as HR service delivery solutions. Founded in 1990, Ultimate is headquartered in Weston, Florida, and employs more than 6,000 professionals. To learn more, visit Ultimate Software: People First.


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.

Footnote 2: “Terminations” is the aggregate number of employee profiles that are deactivated/removed from a Kronos cloud solution, indicating a termination of employment. The cause could be a layoff or resignation, as examples. Termination dates may be pre- or post-dated, creating minor variations in prior week’s data.

Footnote 3: “New hires” is the aggregate number of new employee profiles created inside a Kronos cloud solution. A new employee profile is created when an individual is hired into a position. New hire dates may be pre- or post-dated, creating minor variations in prior week’s data.

© 2020 Kronos Incorporated and Ultimate Software. All rights reserved. Kronos and the Kronos logo are registered trademarks and Workforce Innovation That Works is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. See a complete list of Kronos trademarks. UltiPro is a registered trademark of The Ultimate Software Group, Inc. All other trademarks, if any, are property of their respective owners.