Kronos U.S. Workforce Activity Report: Memorial Day Observance Pauses Recent Shift Work Gains

After Six Straight Weeks of Shift Increases, Expected Holiday Decline Closely Mirrored Memorial Day 2019 Activity
June 2, 2020, LOWELL, Mass.

National Overview:

Kronos Incorporated today issued its update on U.S. workforce activity for the week of May 25-31, 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 1 declined – as expected – as workplaces observed the Memorial Day holiday.

Employee shifts worked declined 8.8% compared to the week of May 18-24, 2020. However, the decline was predicted and closely mirrored the decline in shifts worked during last year’s Memorial Day observance, where shifts dipped 12.3% from the preceding week.

State Snapshot:

Despite the anticipated decline in shifts worked because of Memorial Day, three states actually posted modest week-over-week increases: Nevada (8%), New Mexico (1%), and Michigan (1%). Since the week ending March 15, when the U.S. declared a national state of emergency, Rhode Island (-68%), Connecticut (-57%), and Nevada (-52%) continue to be the three states hit hardest by declines in employee shift work.

Industry Analysis:

Anchored by holiday demand and increased state-level reopenings of restaurants and lodging establishments, the retail, hospitality, and food service industry (-25% in shifts worked since week ending March 15) held mostly flat (-1% week-over-over.) All other sectors declined modestly week-over-week and remain down since the week ending March 15: public sector (-48% overall), services and distribution (-34% overall), manufacturing (-31% overall), and healthcare (-18% overall.)

Job Growth:

Employee terminations2 increased 6% from the week of April 27-May 3 to the week of May 25-31, a notable comparison because each week contains the last day of a month when it is common to post-date terminations. Pay statements3 also increased 2% during that same time frame. Hiring4 reached its lowest level since the week ending March 15, down 43% from pre-pandemic levels.


Dave Gilbertson, vice president, HCM practice group, Kronos
“U.S. businesses posted six consecutive weeks of shift work increases leading up to Memorial Day. It’s encouraging to see some states, like Nevada, continue to make gains last week, while others experienced a predicted decline. The overall decline was smaller than last year – which indicates fewer employees took vacation as more businesses opened back up – a sign the recovery is continuing. June will be critical to gauge the pace of the recovery. In addition to shifts worked, we’ll also be monitoring to see if annual hiring increases associated with seasonal summer work return.”


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 May 31. Reports 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: “Pay statements” reflect the number of payroll checks generated each week, including both direct deposit transfers and physical checks.

Footnote 4: “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.

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