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Current State of the Workforce: A Snapshot

SHRM Snapshot of the Effect of the Pandemic on Business

What you need to know about the changing environment

 It’s no secret that we are approaching a new normal for businesses and for workforces. The COVID-19 crisis has been devasting for many business owners, leaders, and employees worldwide.

SHRM publishes a bi-weekly pulse of how the pandemic is impacting US businesses—information we see as being extremely valuable to HR departments, CEO’s, and all business leaders across the country. So, we are taking some of the critical components of this report and sharing them across our own channels.

  • 13 percent of employers are increasing hours for hourly workings whereas 8 percent of employers are cutting hours
  • A majority of hourly workers are still receiving fewer hours than they were before the pandemic
  • More than 15 percent of employers have begun hiring salaried workers
  • An estimated 6 percent of employers are laying off or furloughing salaried employees
  • Approximately 95 percent of salaried employees being hired long-term and 70 percent of hourly workers are being hired for long-term
  • Hard-hit industries like retail, hotels, and restaurants are reporting an uptick in hiring activity over reductions.
  • The situation remains more difficult for hourly workers who were hit the hardest with the downturn to the economy

Hardest-hit industries were: hotels, restaurants, and retail industries, but those close behind them are government, education, and transportation who continue to report significant downward employment activity.

The top industries decrease and increase in hours of hourly workers is reported as the following:

  • Hotels and restaurants have decreased by 11 percent while increasing by 36 percent
  • Manufacturing and construction have decreased by 7 percent while increasing by 17 percent
  • Transportation and Wholesale have decreased by 13 percent while increasing by 18 percent.
  • Retail has decreased by 7 percent while increasing by 24 percent
  • Finance and Professional have decreased by 4 percent while increasing by 5 percent
  • Administration and other services have decreased by 8 percent while increasing by 9 percent
  • Health and Child Care have decreased by 11 percent while increasing by 14 percent
  • Government and Education have decreased by 9 percent while increasing by 9 percent

The top industries median number of salaried workers per organization being hired versus laid off or furloughed.

  • Hotels and Restaurants have decreased by 1 and increased by 2
  • Manufacturing and Construction have decreased by 5 and increased by 1
  • Transportation and Wholesale have decreased by 20 and increased by 1
  • Retail has decreased by 3 and increased by 3
  • Finance and Professional have decreased by 15 and increased by 1
  • Administration and other services have decreased by 1 and increased by 2
  • Health and Child Care have decreased by 43 and increased by one

While there are some silver linings in the latest statistics, the number of salaried workers losing their positions to layoffs and furloughs combined with hourly employees experiencing a decrease in hours still outpaces the creation of new jobs or increased hours.

Job creation is not happening at the scaled needed to reverse the loss of 36 million jobs in the U.S.—further research and study as we continue forward will tell us if we’ve “hit bottom” with the devastation to the U.S. job market or if there is more to come.

To learn more about how to maintain and capture a high-performance workforce during a crisis, visit our #workforcewise video series.

For further reference points on Coronavirus resources from SHRM visit https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/pages/communicable-diseases.aspx