High frequency data from UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) shows shift volume decreased 0.3% during April’s critical mid-month week utilized by the Department of Labor to calculate employment changes. Given this, UKG’s Workforce Activity Report indicates much more modest job creation in April compared to March.
By Business Size:
For the full month of April, growth at larger businesses continued to outpace growth at smaller businesses as Main Street struggled to propel itself forward.
- Fewer than 100 employees: 0.4%
- 101-500: 0.1%
- 501-1,000: 0.4%
- 1,001-2,500: -0.8%
- 2,501-5,000: 1.8%
- More than 5,000: 5%
Several key industries experienced declining shift volume during April.
- Manufacturing: -1.2%
- Retail, hospitality, and food service: -1.2%
- Healthcare: -1.8%
Shift work growth in April was stronger in the eastern U.S. and weaker in the Midwest and western U.S.
- Northeast2: 2.1%
- Southeast3: 1.9%
- Midwest4: 0.0%
- West5: -0.8%
The UKG Workforce Recovery Scale — which compares today’s shift volume versus pre-pandemic levels — now sits at 85.9, up just 0.4 points since March. It remains 14.1 points below February 2020’s pre-pandemic total.
Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group)
“The economic recovery continues to be frustratingly uneven. Following a strong March, shift volume was essentially flat for April, tempering our expectations for a second straight month of strong growth. While modest growth is still positive, it will extend the duration of the recovery for the 8 million people who remain out of work today due to the pandemic.”
The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high frequency index of U.S. shift volume spanning 3.3 million employees across 35,000 organizations. It measures how often employees are working today compared to February 2020. For more insights, visit www.ukg.com/workforceactivityreport.
- Note to editors: Please refer to this as the “UKG Workforce Activity Report for April 2021.”
- View all reports in the UKG Workforce Activity Report archive.
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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: Northeast is defined as Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Footnote 3: Southeast is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Footnote 4: Midwest is defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South
Footnote 5: West is defined as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
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