The report analyses trends in employee shift work across 35,000 US businesses and 4.2 million people.
UKG’s Workforce Recovery Index for June was 99.5. This is a rolling 12-month scale that measures workforce activity levels at US businesses relative to the same month one year ago to provide a directional indicator for anticipated changes in the labour participation rate.
Retail, foodservice and hospitality saw growth of 1.5% in June. Shift work and workforce activity both increased by 0.4% in June, aided by seasonal help.
Shift work is a total derived from aggregated employee time and attendance data. It reflects the number of times that employees “clock in and out” at the beginning and end of each shift – especially those paid hourly or who must be physically present at a workplace to perform their jobs (as in retail).
The report also analyses workforce activity during national holidays to track how many businesses allow their employees to observe them. Juneteenth, a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, saw a plateau in June of this year, with 5 million employees taking the day off. In comparison, Presidents’ Day in February saw an observance rate of 15 million, suggesting many businesses do not observe Juneteenth.
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Businesses that do not observe national holidays or give sufficient leave to their employees may see a reduction in staff wellbeing, which is vital for operational efficiency. A recent report in the UK found that there is a widespread mental health crisis in the retail sector.
UKG vice-president and labour economist Dave Gilbertson commented: “Workforce activity remains strong which coupled with an increasingly tight labour market, will lead to another potential surge in wages. This would be a big blow to smaller businesses, who continue to struggle to keep up.”