UKG Workforce Activity Report: Economy Shows Signs of Stress in April

May 3, 2022, LOWELL, Mass., and WESTON, Fla.

National Overview:
The UKG Workforce Activity Report for April 2022 shows the total number of shifts worked1 by people at U.S. businesses decreased 6.3% from March to April, though no job losses are expected as the decline is largely attributed to spring religious observances. In fact, April 2022 performed slightly stronger and experienced a smaller decline than during the same observances time frame in 2021, despite tracking negative growth across all industries, regions, and company sizes.

UKG will discuss the findings in a live market briefing on Tuesday, May 3, at 10:00 a.m. ET (U.S. and Canada). Register to attend.

Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG
“With Easter and Passover falling during the April mid-month week, declines can be almost entirely attributed to these observances and do not indicate broader job loss. One exception we are keeping an eye on is the retail and hospitality industry, which saw slightly worse declines than last year, and that weakness continued through the end of April. Although the effects of other factors such as inflation, oil prices, or the war in Ukraine have been muted to date, we did see weakness in workforce activity over the second half of the month. Our data indicates there is risk of a slight miss in job creation relative to consensus estimates and little likelihood of an upside surprise.”

Industry Analysis:
Retail and hospitality experienced the smallest monthly decline, but the largest annual decline, when compared with the spring 2021 observances time frame:

  • Retail, hospitality, and food service: -3.8%
  • Healthcare: -4.1%
  • Services and distribution: -4.3%
  • Public sector and nonprofit: -9.8%
  • Manufacturing: -10.8%

Region Snapshot:
The Southeast recorded its largest dip this year, as shift work in all regions trended down:

  • West2: -5.1%
  • Northeast3: -6.0%
  • Midwest4: -6.1%
  • Southeast5: -7.5%

Business Size:
Workforce activity was artificially reduced in April due to spring religious observances, with large companies charting the most significant decline:

  • Fewer than 100 employees: -6.2%
  • 101-500: -7.4%
  • 501-1,000: -6.3%
  • 1,001-2,500: -4.8%
  • 2,501-5,000: -6.0%
  • More than 5,000: -9.7%

The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high-frequency index analyzing shift work trends for 3.9 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 50,000 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: West is defined as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Footnote 3: Northeast is defined as Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Footnote 4: Midwest is defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Footnote 5: Southeast is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

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