National Overview: The UKG Workforce Activity Report for June 2022 indicates the labor market is holding strong heading into summer, with June expected to add slightly more jobs than May despite compounding market pressures. The total number of shifts worked1 by people at U.S. businesses increased 0.8% over May, breaking a steady streak of declines in 12 out of the prior 13 weeks. A surprising sector of strength this month is retail, hospitality, and food service, which increased 2.9% following sustained declines since the beginning of 2022. Healthcare activity continued its long-term decline — down another 0.9% since May — and will require several years to rebuild a skilled workforce following the ongoing exodus of caregivers.
Immediately following the mid-month observation period, UKG saw slightly declining workforce activity that reflected a dramatic jump in organizations observing the newest federal holiday: nearly 5 million people were able to take off Juneteenth this year compared to approximately 1.25 million people in 2021.
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Commentary: Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG
“June’s increase in workforce activity makes it unlikely we’ll see a downside surprise in the next employment report. We saw slight, though broad-based, workforce gains across sectors with retailers showing particular signs of strength to kick off the summer hiring season. We also observed synchronous growth across all U.S. regions, for only the second time in the past 12 months, and ultimately expect a slight increase in job gains compared to May. It’s also worth mentioning the progress we’re seeing in organizations recognizing Juneteenth. For the first time, it caused a noticeable downswing in workforce activity as more organizations formally recognized the holiday. For comparison, Juneteenth is nearing one-third the size of Presidents’ Day in terms of the number of employees given the day off to observe it.”
Industry Analysis2: Retail, hospitality, and food service shifts surged entering the summer season, indicating the sector’s first sign of strength this year:
- Retail, hospitality, and food service: 2.9%
- Services and distribution: 1.4%
- Manufacturing: 0.4%
- Healthcare: -0.9%
Region Snapshot: For only the second time since June 2021, all U.S. regions experienced a gain:
- Northeast3: 2.7%
- West4: 0.8%
- Southeast5: 0.4%
- Midwest6: 0.2%
Business Size: Smaller businesses tracked average growth in workforce activity, while larger businesses increased at a faster rate:
- Fewer than 100 employees: 1.0%
- 101-500: 0.6%
- 501-1,000: 1.2%
- 1,001-2,500: -0.2%
- 2,501-5,000: 2.7%
- More than 5,000: 1.6%
Timeliness: The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high-frequency index analyzing shift work trends for 4 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: Since April 2020, UKG public sector data has included public K-12 and higher education institutions, in addition to traditional public sector government organizations. As is customary during the June-September timeframe, UKG will not report on public sector data until schools return in the fall.
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: West is defined as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Footnote 5: Southeast is defined as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Footnote 6: 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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