UKG Workforce Activity Report: Shift Work Declines Reinforce Soft Landing in Most Industries, Fewer Jobs Created in July

UKG recovery index slumps to 95.5 as employers slow hiring — lowest of 2022
August 2, 2022, LOWELL, Mass., and WESTON, Fla.

National Overview:  The UKG Workforce Activity Report for July 2022 shows the total number of shifts worked1 by people at U.S. businesses decreased 0.6%, an early indicator that July jobs growth will fall slightly behind June’s benchmark. The UKG Workforce Recovery Scale additionally highlights a one-point drop, further reinforcing reduced job creation this month. The recovery index rests at 95.5, relative to the same month one year ago — its lowest point in 2022. Workforce activity levels indexed by industry show the retail and service sectors also hit new lows in 2022, as did all regions except the Southeast.

UKG will discuss the findings in a live market briefing on Tuesday, August 2, at 10 a.m. ET (U.S. and Canada). Register to attend.

Commentary:  Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG
“UKG’s high-frequency data highlights very slight declines in workforce activity over four of the past five months and suggests we’ll see fewer new jobs created in July’s employment report, compared with June. While there’s no indication yet of broad-based layoffs outside of specific sectors, like finance and technology, we are seeing businesses begin to pull back on new hiring. Although the labor market remains tight, this gradual decline in job creation would indicate that efforts to slow the job market are starting to work. This positions most industries — with the notable exception of healthcare — on a path to achieve a soft landing in the labor market, though the situation remains very dynamic.”

Industry Analysis:  Manufacturing is the only sector to increase shift work in July, in spite of employers’ prolonged struggles to close the skilled-labor gap:

  • Manufacturing: 1.3%
  • Retail, hospitality, and food service: -0.7%
  • Healthcare: -1.4%
  • Services and distribution: -1.9%

Region Snapshot:  Following a 2.7% increase in June, shift gains in the Northeast continue to lead:

  • Northeast2: 0.5%
  • West3: 0.3%
  • Midwest4: -1.1%
  • Southeast5: -1.5%

Business Size:  Some businesses chose to keep roles vacant rather than compete to hire in July:

  • Fewer than 100 employees: -0.9%
  • 101-500: -0.4%
  • 501-1,000: -0.8%
  • 1,001-2,500: -1.4%
  • 2,501-5,000: 4.3%
  • More than 5,000: -1.5%

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.

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 70,000 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: 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: West is defined as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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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