Dr. Alex Alonso, Chief Knowledge Officer at Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). U.S. Workers Have Lost $1.3 trillion in Income During Pandemic, Survey Finds.


Findings Suggest A Slow Recovery to Pre-pandemic Employment for Large Cities and Smaller Communities Alike.


WHAT: New research released by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and Oxford Economics puts a price to the economic pain inflicted by COVID-19, as U.S. workers have lost an estimated $1.3 trillion in income during the pandemic. Notably, 20 percent of this lost income represents earnings of those who remain employed, suggesting job-losses alone are an incomplete account of COVID-19’s impact on workers. The latest findings from SHRM’s COVID-19 Business Index also examines the long-term consequences, forecasting a slow recovery for both large metropolitan areas and smaller communities.

The “COVID-19 U.S. Business Index” examines the virus’s impact on U.S. business operations and workforce decisions and assists leaders and government officials in understanding, in near-real time, how employers are grappling with the pandemic-induced economic crisis. Findings include:

  • $1.3 trillion in income has been lost by the U.S. workforce;
  • Of this $1.3 trillion, 20 percent represents lost earnings of those who remain employed;
  • Hourly workers saw their hours (and consequently pay) reduced by nine percent, while five percent of salaried workers saw their pay decreased or deferred, by 14 percent on average;
  • Only 20 percent of large metropolitan areas and 11 percent of smaller ones will have recovered employment levels seen at the beginning of this year as late as the end of 2022;
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