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Greenville Business Magazine

Shift Work Rebounds 25 percent in Last 8 Weeks According to U.S. Workforce Report

Jun 11, 2020 11:16AM ● By David Dykes

Staff Report

Kronos Incorporated said workforce activity June 1-7, 2020, showed the number of shifts being worked increased 25 percent in eight weeks.

Since April 12, 2020 – which represented “the bottom” of employee shift work during the pandemic – Kronos said it tracked eight weeks of gradual but consistent increases in work, excluding an expected Memorial Day holiday dip.

To date, 45 percent of the total shifts lost during the Covid-19 pandemic have been recovered as states reopen and some businesses resume operations, Kronos officials said. 

However, they said it is critical to remember that work remains dramatically down compared to the week ending March 15, 2020, the last full week of typical workplace activity before the Covid-19 national state of emergency declaration.

Nevada shifts increased 63 percent week-over-week as casino gaming resumed, the largest single-week jump by any state in the nation since the beginning of Covid-19, Kronos officials said.

Massachusetts continued its drop to become the third hardest-hit state in terms of total shifts lost (-40 percent overall) as many states, including Oklahoma (-38 percent), South Carolina (-35 percent), New Mexico (-33 percent), and Nevada (-22 percent) recovered work more quickly, the officials said.

Rhode Island (-59 percent) remained largely stagnant as the hardest-hit state in the nation, followed by Connecticut (-49 percent), the officials said.

Kronos Incorporated is a multinational workforce management and human capital management cloud provider headquartered in Lowell, Mass.

The company said a public sector rally continued as shifts worked in that industry rebounded 45 percent from the week ending April 12. Yet, public sector work overall dropped 35 percent from the week ending March 15, according to Kronos.

The number healthcare shifts worked was down just 9 percent and might be the first industry to reach pre-pandemic work volume, Kronos officials said. 

Manufacturing (-17 percent overall), retail, hospitality, and food service (-21 percent overall), and services and distribution (-24 percent overall) each saw shift work grow approximately 25 percent from the week ending April 12, the officials said.

Employee terminations held flat week-over-week, but remained 46 percent higher than the week ending March 15, according to Kronos. 

New hires also remained flat, with the weekly average down 35 percent from pre-pandemic levels, Kronos officials said. 

The number of pay statements issued was down just 7 percent from late March despite big swings in work that also closely aligned with weekly and monthly unemployment reports, further demonstrating the value of incorporating data about shifts worked in economic modeling and forecasts, the officials said.

“It’s important to remember that unemployment remains at levels we haven’t experienced in more than 75 years,” said Dave Gilbertson, vice president of the Human Capital Management practice group at Kronos. “June, July, and August will tell us a lot, especially as the Payroll Protection Program funding provided to many small businesses becomes depleted. Hope is high and we expect to learn a lot about the trajectory and velocity of the recovery leading up to the July 4th holiday.”