UKG: Why Are U.S. Employees Working Fewer Shifts?

March workforce activity briefing to discuss latest changes, trends today at 10:00 a.m. ET
April 4, 2023, LOWELL, Mass., and WESTON, Fla.

Summary:   Today’s workforce activity and labor market briefing hosted by UKG at 10:00 a.m. ET will explore important and emerging trends affecting workplaces nationally, including:

  • The decline in the total number of shifts1 worked at U.S. businesses in March (-1.6%), and what back-to-back monthly decreases mean for the economy;
  • Sectors showing strength and weakness, such as healthcare (-0.6%); manufacturing (0.0%); retail, foodservice, and hospitality (-2.2%); and services and distribution (-0.7%); and by size segment, including large and small businesses; and
  • An examination of the short- and long-term challenges facing U.S. businesses based on changes to workforce demographics and labor participation.

Register to attend the UKG labor market briefing.       

Commentary:  Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG     
“After watching workforce activity levels yo-yo at the end of 2022, we’re now seeing a steeper nonseasonal decline than we’ve seen over the past year. This is a snapback from the stronger than expected results so far this year and puts the economy squarely on track for the much sought-after soft landing, barring other headwinds. This should be reflected in the March jobs report, which we expect to be positive but should not appear as overheated as it has been the past two months.”

Importance:  The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high-frequency index analyzing shift work trends across 4.2 million people at 35,000 U.S. businesses to understand the economy. Reports are published and briefings are held each Tuesday prior to the publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation (monthly jobs) report. Upcoming schedule:

  • April Workforce Activity Report: May 2, 2023
  • May Workforce Activity Report: May 27, 2023

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 75,000 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.

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