The UKG Workforce Activity Report for March 2022 shows the total number of shifts worked1 by people at U.S. businesses decreased 0.6% from February to March and is holding steady for the first time in 2022, upon the pandemic’s two-year anniversary. Preceded by a sizeable downswing created by omicron illness in January (-5.1%) and a welcome snapback in February (6.6%), March workforce activity leveled off considerably before ending on a high note: End-of-month shift volume in March improved 4.4%, providing the earliest indication of next month’s potential for jobs growth.
Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG
“March came in like a lamb, but it’s going out like a lion. To start, there were no new accelerants to bring additional people off the sidelines, and, likewise, no significant decelerants that reduced shift volume, as neither high oil prices nor the BA.2 variant had a measurable impact on workforce activity in the U.S. Yet, despite sluggish growth throughout March, very strong acceleration in its final week creates optimism for a potentially notable April.”
All industries were mostly flat and public sector losses were caused by spring breaks in education:
- Healthcare: -0.1%
- Manufacturing: -0.3%
- Services and distribution: -0.4%
- Retail, hospitality, and food service: -0.9%
- Public sector and non-profit: -3.0%
All regions retained steady workforce activity with only minimal declines:
- West2: 0.2%
- Southeast3: -0.5%
- Northeast4: -1.0%
- Midwest5: -1.8%
Workforce activity largely stabilized in March, following sharp swings in January and February:
- Fewer than 100 employees: -0.8%
- 101-500: -0.7%
- 501-1,000: -0.8%
- 1,001-2,500: -2.3%
- 2,501-5,000: 0.5%
- More than 5,000: 0.4%
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.
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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 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: Southeast is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Footnote 4: Northeast is defined as Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Footnote 5: Midwest is defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
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