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Employers Expect Furloughed Salary Workers Will Return to Work in 6 Months

Employers Expect Furloughed Salary Workers Will Return to Work in 6 Months

May 8, 2020
However, the new SHRM Index reports that layoffs are still continuing.

In an effort to assist business leaders and government officials in understanding, in near real-time, how employers are grappling with this pandemic-induced economic crisis, on May 5, SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and Oxford Economics released a new business index.

The COVID-19 Business Index examines the pandemic’s impact on U.S. business operations and workforce decisions.

Initial findings show how businesses are curbing costs and when businesses expect employees to return to work, as well as which industries are faring better or worse than others.

 The initial COVID-19 Business Index highlights:

  • 52% of U.S. employers have either changed employee hours, furloughed or laid-off workers to reduce costs;
  • One-third of U.S. employers are either still laying off workers or may do so in the future;
  • 64% of salaried and 49% of hourly employees are now working from home most of the time, compared to 3% and 2%t on in January.
  • 99% of U.S. employers expect furloughed salaried workers to return to work within six months.

 “While federal and state governments are seemingly doing all they can to support U.S. businesses, SHRM research shows one-third of U.S. employers are still laying off workers and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM CEO, in a statement.

 “The looming April jobs report will surely reflect this as well," added Taylor. "However, there is some sense of optimism from employers about when they expect to bring at least some of those furloughed and laid-off employees back to work.

 The COVID-19 Business Index will be updated on a bi-weekly basis through June 2020. “Two months ago, the dominant challenge facing businesses was finding talent,” says Dan Levine, who heads the Oxford Economics Location Strategies practice. “This report provides fresh insight into how this situation has completely reversed and why weakness in the labor market is deeper and may last longer than is commonly supposed.”