For anyone hiring or managing an hourly workforce, it’s important to be aware of how recent events are affecting your workers.
To get a pulse on how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting hourly workers, we first surveyed workers in spring 2020, asking them questions about how their jobs had changed, if they had filed for unemployment or accessed any of the CARES Act benefits, and what would make them feel safer at work.
As we began 2021, we decided to ask many of these questions again to examine how outlooks have changed over the past nine months. In addition, we asked a few deeper questions to gain insight into how the pandemic, and employers’ responses, have impacted employee engagement and retention. For a greater understanding of hourly workers’ mindsets and concerns, scroll down for a few key findings. For the results of our employee engagement and retention survey, download the eBook here.
When we last surveyed hourly workers in April 2020, they were bearing the brunt of the pandemic - more likely to have reduced hours, layoffs, and anxiety. In 2021, hourly workers continue to be more heavily impacted by COVID-19.
Have had their work hours reduced.
Hourly workers are more than twice as likely to have been laid off compared to salaried workers.
Have filed for unemployment.
In addition, hourly workers’ financial outlooks have remained largely steady since the first few months of the pandemic. In fact, they’re slightly less anxious than they were 10 months ago. Twenty-six percent report being very worried about making ends meet now, 3 points lower than in April.
Their greatest concerns are...
This is clear when you look at the number of hourly workers who have looked for or started new jobs during the pandemic.
Compared to the general population, 10% more hourly workers have looked for jobs during the pandemic.
Compared to salaried workers, 19% more hourly workers have looked for jobs during the pandemic.
Twenty-eight percent of hourly workers have started new jobs since the start of the pandemic, 9% higher than the general population.
Why are they looking for jobs? A number of reasons. These high numbers may be connected to hourly worker layoffs and reduced hours. Yet the most common reason hourly workers report looking for work is to secure additional income.
While they’re feeling financially insecure and searching for new employment opportunities, they aren’t feeling very optimistic about the current job market or the speed at which the job market will recover after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Half of those looking for hourly work say there aren’t a lot of jobs out there, and nearly 3 in 5 are very or somewhat concerned about not being able to find a job if they’re laid off. And hourly workers’ are less optimistic about how the job market will recover post-COVID now than they were 10 months ago. Hourly workers are 8% less likely to think the recovery will take 6 months or less, and +8% more likely to think it will take years for the job market to recover.
The long-term impact of these numbers have yet to be seen. But many of the changes brought by 2020 will have lasting effects on workers, employers, and the way companies hire.
For more insights into how hourly workers have been affected by the pandemic and what employers can do to retain workers, download our latest guide.
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