How Independence Day impacted shift work across the country

Person with sparkler independence day workforce activity concept

As we embark on a new month, we’re continuing to closely track the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shift work trends of 3.2 million employees across 30,000 customers throughout the U.S. – and, in tandem, the weight of summer holidays on the workforce.

The long July 4 holiday weekend had a unique but anticipated impact on the U.S. working economy: Shifts worked by hourly and frontline employees decreased by 11.4 percent week over week as employees took vacation off and businesses closed in observance of the holiday. This mirrors shift activity over the week of Memorial Day, which dipped 8.8 percent for similar holiday-related reasons.

July is off to an interesting start

Following June’s unemployment report, we’re keeping a close eye on how shifts, terminations, hires, and paychecks are trending so far in July – particularly as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in pockets across the country and Payroll Protection Program funding extensions add another layer of complex nuance. We believe data over the coming weeks will indicate whether the recovery we saw in May and June will be strong enough to propel shift growth forward – or whether we may be reaching our first recovery plateau.

Here are three more post-July 4 stats from the Kronos U.S. Workforce Activity Report to keep in mind:

  • 16.9: The percentage increase in shifts worked – despite expected Memorial Day and July 4 dips – by U.S. employees since shifts hit “the bottom” during the week ending April 12.
  • 11: The number of states experiencing or surpassing an average of 100 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per week and double-digit shift decreases as of July 6.
  • 2.8 to 1: The ratio of terminations to hires from June 29 through July 5, signifying businesses saw 2.8 terminations for each new hire. This is the widest delta the nation has seen since mid-April.

If you want to see more detail around these numbers or learn more about this week's workforce activity report, as well as the previous reports we've put out, we invite you to visit