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UKG Workforce Activity Report: Businesses Add Employee Shifts Again in July, Delta Variant Threatens Growth


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National Overview:

The UKG Workforce Activity Report for July 2021 shows workplace activity as measured by high-frequency employee shift work data1 increased 1.1%. UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) believes this bodes well for a strong July employment report, which is expected to register a step below especially strong growth in June (+850,000 jobs). In addition, UKG data reveals the expiration of pandemic-related unemployment benefits in many states did not accelerate a return to work. States were just as likely to grow workforce activity if they continued benefits as if they didn’t.


Dave Gilbertson, vice president, UKG

“People are returning to work — we just haven’t seen the surge of people returning that businesses desperately need. This is true for states that continue to offer pandemic-related unemployment benefits as well as states where benefits have expired. July saw continued momentum building with steady job growth, adding to the gains seen in June. This should set us up well to see an acceleration in workforce activity this fall after the school calendar adds more predictability to parents’ lives. The spread of the delta COVID variant will add unpredictability to this acceleration if it begins to impact business or consumer activity.”

Recovery Scale:

The UKG Workforce Recovery Scale — which compares July’s mid-month activity with pre-pandemic levels — sits at 86.3, essentially flat compared to 86.7 at the end of June.

Business Size:

Smaller businesses continue to struggle greatly compared to larger organizations:

  • Fewer than 100 employees: -0.4%

  • 101-500: 0.6%

  • 501-1,000: 0.4%

  • 1,001-2,500: 1.5%

  • 2,501-5,000: 6.1%

  • More than 5,000: 1.8%

Industry Analysis:

An acute shortage of skilled employees continues to pinch healthcare activity, which shrunk for the tenth consecutive month:

  • Healthcare: -1.5%

  • Services and distribution: 1.2%

  • Manufacturing: 2.0%

  • Retail, hospitality, and food service: 2.3%


The UKG Workforce Activity Report is a high-frequency index used to anticipate employment growth and job creation earlier than traditional indicators allow. With a sample of 3.3 million employees across 35,000 organizations of all sizes, the UKG Workforce Activity Report uses the number of shifts being worked to determine the current and future health of the U.S. economy.

About UKG

At UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), our purpose is people. Built from a merger that created one of the largest cloud companies in the world, UKG believes organizations succeed when they focus on their people. As a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, UKG delivers award-winning Pro, Dimensions, and Ready solutions to help tens of thousands of organizations across geographies and in every industry drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, streamline the payroll process, and help make work a better, more connected experience for everyone. UKG has 13,000 employees around the globe and is known for an inclusive workplace culture. The company has earned numerous awards for culture, products, and services, including consecutive years on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. To learn more, visit ukg.com.

Footnote 1: “Shifts worked” is a total derived from aggregated employee time and attendance data and reflects the number of times that employees, especially those who are paid hourly or must be physically present at a workplace to perform their jobs, “clock in” and “clock out” via a time clock, mobile app, computer, or other device at the beginning and end of each shift.

Copyright 2021 UKG Inc. All rights reserved. For a full list of UKG trademarks, please visit ukg.com/trademarks. All other trademarks, if any, are property of their respective owners. All specifications are subject to change.

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UKG Contact:
Dan Gouthro

+1 978 947 7310


For Sales Information:

+1 800 432 1729


Rushing Recruitment Can Be a False Economy, Firms Warned

Pre-hire tests and assessments can help identify if new hires will fit in

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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Questionmark–Businesses are ramping up recruitment to secure the people they need with the right modern skills for the post-pandemic economy. But “recruitment in a rush” could store up problems for the future, warns Questionmark, the online assessment provider.

United States (US) employers created 850,000 jobs in June alone.1 Half of United Kingdom (UK) firms are planning to hire.2 Yet 87% of employers are facing a gap between the skills they need and those available to them in the workforce.3 So, recruitment is the answer to bring vital new skills into the business.

The new Questionmark report, “Skills, Culture, Vocation: Finding the Right Recruits” urges employers to ensure the “person-organization” fit of new hires. If a new team member does not share their employer’s goals and values, it can place culture and productivity at risk.

Staff members that feel a sense of belonging are six times more engaged than those that don’t.4 And a clash of culture is one of the main reasons that people part company with their employer.5

John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark, said: “Hiring quickly can prove a false economy. If a new starter is not the right fit for the organization, they probably won’t last long. Replacing an employee costs about a third of their salary. Employers must get recruitment right.”

Measuring the skills, attitudes and values of someone before hiring them can help employers check they have the right person-organization fit. Skills assessments can show whether they have what it takes to do the job. Measuring their attitudes and values will indicate whether they are likely to be a good fit for culture.

Questionmark provides a range of ready-made assessments to test business skills such as data literacy, digital marketing and customer care.

Questionmark Thinking Skills Assessment by Cambridge Assessment enables employers to measure the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills of job applicants. This can indicate how likely a potential recruit is to progress within an organization.

Read the full report: “Skills, Culture, Vocation: Finding the Right Recruits”.


Notes to editors

About Questionmark

Questionmark unlocks performance through reliable and secure online assessments.

Questionmark provides a secure enterprise-grade assessment platform and professional services to leading organizations around the world, delivered with care and unequalled expertise. Its full-service online assessment tool and professional services help customers to improve their performance and meet their compliance requirements. Questionmark enables organizations to unlock their potential by delivering assessments which are valid, reliable, fair and defensible.

Questionmark offers secure powerful integration with other LMS, LRS and proctoring services making it easy to bring everything together in one place. Questionmark’s cloud-based assessment management platform offers rapid deployment, scalability for high-volume test delivery, 24/7 support, and the peace-of-mind of secure, audited U.S., Australian and European-based data centers.

1 https://apnews.com/article/jobs-report-june-19c34ac90dbfa0f45bc9dac2a086cbfc
2 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56149661
3 https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis/charting-the-path-to-the-next-normal/mind-the-skills-gap
4 https://www.glintinc.com/blog/why-belonging-is-important-at-work-employee-engagement-and-diversity/
5 https://blog.smarp.com/employee-engagement-8-statistics-you-need-to-know


US: Kristin Bernor, external relations: Kristin.bernor@questionmark.com +1 203.349.6438

UK: James Boyd-Wallis: james.boyd-wallis@fourteenforty.uk +44 7793 021 607

Australia and New Zealand: Chelsea Dowd: chelsea.dowd@questionmark.com +61 2 8073 0527