Labor Market Settles into Period of Relative Consistency

UKG to discuss September’s high-frequency data in live labor market briefing today at 10 a.m. ET
October 4, 2022, LOWELL, Mass., and WESTON, Fla.

National Overview:    The UKG Workforce Activity Report for September 2022 shows very slight movement in workforce activity for the seventh consecutive month. The total number of shifts worked1 by people at U.S. businesses is down -0.3% and the monthly index is unchanged from August, holding at 97.6%. Despite gradual declines in workforce activity for six of the past seven months, June being the exception (+0.8%), this prolonged period of relative consistency indicates that the desired soft landing for the job market remains intact. 

UKG will discuss the findings in a live labor market briefing on Tuesday, October 4, at 10 a.m. ET (U.S. and Canada). Register to attend.

Commentary:  Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG 
“We are seeing a level of consistency in the labor market not experienced since late 2019 and early 2020. Although employee turnover and inflation are historically high, the very slight month-over-month movement in workforce activity provides a glimmer of stability in an unstable economy. Healthcare shift volume increased for the first time since February, and manufacturing saw one of its strongest months since September of last year. With no indication of widespread layoffs among the hourly workforce, we expect the September 2022 jobs report to again highlight very modest employment gains. Still, employers will continue to feel the impact of a tight labor market as demographic dynamics prevent the labor gap from closing, increasing the risk of employee burnout as we enter Q4.”

Industry Analysis:  Healthcare experienced its strongest month year to date, and all industries except retail saw numbers improve from August:

  • Manufacturing: 0.7%
  • Healthcare: 0.5%
  • Services and distribution: -0.2%
  • Retail, hospitality, and food service: -3.1%

Region Snapshot:  The Southeast was the only region to see an increase in shift volume, though all regions except the Northeast saw numbers improve from August:

  • Southeast2: 0.4%
  • Midwest3: -0.1%
  • West4: -0.3%
  • Northeast5: -1.1%

Business Size:  Businesses with 101-1,000 people exhibited slight growth in September:

  • Fewer than 100 employees: -0.8%
  • 101-500: 0.1%
  • 501-1,000: 1.3%
  • 1,001-2,500: -0.4%
  • 2,501-5,000: -0.8%
  • More than 5,000: -0.8%

Timeliness:  The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high-frequency index analyzing shift work trends for 4.2 million people at 35,000 U.S. businesses to understand job creation and economic momentum.

About UKG

At UKG, our purpose is people. As strong believers in the power of culture and belonging as the secret to success, we champion great workplaces and build lifelong partnerships with our customers to show what’s possible when businesses invest in their people. Born from a historic merger that created one of the world’s leading HCM cloud companies, our unique Life-work Technology approach to HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions for all people helps more than 70,000 organizations around the globe across every industry anticipate and adapt to their employees’ needs beyond just work. 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 timeclock, mobile app, computer, or other device at the beginning and end of each shift.

Footnote 2: Southeast is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Footnote 3: Midwest is defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Footnote 4: West is defined as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Footnote 5: Northeast is defined as Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Copyright 2022 UKG Inc. All rights reserved. For a full list of UKG trademarks, please visit All other trademarks, if any, are property of their respective owners. All specifications are subject to change.

Follow UKG on FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube.