Tuesday, July 21, 2020, LOWELL, Mass.

U.S. Shift Work Slumps as Weekly Growth Hits Lowest Rate of Recovery

Kronos Workforce Activity Report Shows Southeast Region Stalls, Healthcare and Manufacturing Growth Struggle

National Overview:

According to the U.S. Workforce Activity Report from Kronos Incorporated for the week of July 13-19, the average weekly growth rate for shift work1 during the recovery continues to decelerate and currently sits at 0.7% per week for the month of July. This has declined by more than half of the 1.9% average weekly growth in June and is only approximately a quarter of the 2.7% average weekly growth experienced in May. Overall, businesses have recovered 64% of shifts lost between the weeks ending March 15 and April 12, which marked “the bottom” of U.S. shift work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The volume of shift work nationally across all sectors is 13% below pre-pandemic levels.

Region Snapshot:

Shift work in the Southeast2 region decreased modestly (-0.28%) between June 22 and July 19, aligning with changes to state-by-state reopening strategies. A mild economic resurgence continues in the Northeast3, which grew 4.8% during that same time period. While the Northeast experienced more significant shift work declines than the Southeast in the initial days of the pandemic, both regions now sit 14% below pre-pandemic shift volume. The Midwest4 (1.4%) and West5 (0.78%) also posted small shift work gains during that four-week window.

Job Growth:

Employee terminations6, including voluntary and involuntary turnover, and job creation as measured by new employee hiring7 remains at a ratio of 2.4:1, unchanged from last week and reinforcing a potential leveling off. This ratio reached its most dire level – 3.4:1 – the week ending March 29. By comparison, during February 2020 with a booming economy, it stood at approximately 1:1.

Industry Analysis:

Growth across four of the five key industries that help drive the U.S. economy has mostly stalled following strong gains made during the first 11 weeks of the recovery, which began in earnest the week ending April 12. Healthcare now sits at 7% below pre-pandemic levels; the services and distribution sector is down 13%; and both manufacturing and retail, food service, and hospitality hover at 14% below. As states reopen and the public sector industry adapts to operating during COVID-19, it has now recovered 62.5% of shifts lost – more than any other industry – though public sector remains down 28% overall.

Commentary:

Dave Gilbertson, vice president, HCM practice group, Kronos
“We are seeing clear signs that workforce activity is topping out as we move deeper into the summer season. As shift work growth slows and potentially stalls, the ability of businesses to hire – and in turn, reduce unemployment – will be further delayed. The Southeast is struggling to gain and sustain shift growth traction, while the Northeast is the only region with momentum on its side.”

Timeliness:

The Kronos U.S. Workforce Activity Report is inclusive of data through July 19, 2020 and delivers near real-time insights into weekly workplace activity and trends. Visit www.kronos.com/USWorkforceActivity to view the full report archive.

Supporting Resources


About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations — including half of the Fortune 1000® — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Kronos merged with Ultimate Software on April 1, 2020, to create one of the world’s most innovative HCM and workforce management companies. Visit www.kronos.com. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works. 

About Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software is a leading global provider of cloud human capital management (HCM) and employee experience solutions, with more than 51 million people records in the cloud. Ultimate’s award-winning UltiPro delivers HR, payroll, talent, and time and labor management, as well as HR service delivery solutions. Founded in 1990, Ultimate is headquartered in Weston, Florida, and employs more than 6,000 professionals. To learn more, visit www.ultimatesoftware.com. Ultimate Software: People First.

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