Kronos Report Shows Businesses Start to Ramp Up

Masked Workforce

Businesses are slowly beginning to ramp up operations, with the number of employee shifts worked rising some 16 percent since the week of April 12.

An analysis by Kronos of data from 30,000 U.S. organizations with 3.2 million employee said the number of shifts worked has grown about 3.1 percent per week since mid-April. That’s widely considered to be the near-term “bottom” of the employment crisis, the report said. Shifts worked were down 36 percent between the weeks ending March 15 and April 12.

U.S. employers beginning to ramp up; number of shifts worked rose from mid-April, says @KronosInc report. #HR #HRTech Share on X

As Kronos points out, 25 percent of the shifts worked before the pandemic have yet to return. While media reports say all 50 states have loosened some restrictions as of this week, public health authorities continue to worry that the number of COVID-19 cases will spike again if employees return on-premises without adequate protections and consumer-facing businesses re-open too quickly.

Hiring Continues… Slowly

In line with a number of other reports, Kronos found that hiring hasn’t completely shut down, although it has slowed. Since March 15, the number of hires dropped by 46 percent, but the company said that number has been more or less stable over the last six weeks. Some sectors—such as distribution, groceries, logistics and warehousing—have experienced “ballooning” demand, the report said.

Meanwhile, the number of employee terminations has dropped by 25 percent since the week ended April 19, a vast improvement from four consecutive weeks in March and April, when terminations ran at 60 percent about average levels.

Dave Gilbertson, vice president of Kronos’s HCM practice group, said the five weeks of “modest growth” shown in the report “indicates we may be in the very early stages of stabilization as states execute their phased openings.” He expects hiring to “slowly resume” when consumer demand exceeds the production and service levels businesses can provide at current staffing levels.

Several HR technology vendors have expressed cautious optimism about the possibility of a fledgling recovery from the pandemic’s economic havoc. Recently Ceridian CEO David Ossip told financial analysts that his company may be seeing some hints that the pandemic’s impact was touching bottom.

In early May, the company saw “a slight increase” in both employees and customers. “So nothing really to get overly excited about, but there seems to be evidence that the impact of COVID has kind of bottomed out,” Ossip said.

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