Us Business Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Base Wages Increase

Staffing Industry Analysts (02/09/22) 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 14.5% of private-sector establishments increased base wages as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Establishments in accommodation and food services, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, and manufacturing increased base wages at a higher rate than average.

The report’s data came from the “2021 Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic” and the survey data was collected from private-sector establishments from July 27, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021.

Several topics including telework, workplace flexibilities, changes in pay, Covid-19 workplace requirements, establishment space size, relocation, supplementing workforce, automation, drug and alcohol testing, and Covid-19 loans or grants were covered.

The data highlighted the following changes:

  • Hazard pay or an hourly bonus were temporarily offered by 5.5% of establishments, 471,000, with 15.7% of all private-sector employment.
  • One-time, special monetary bonuses for working during the pandemic were paid by 9.4% of establishments, 809,000.
  • As a result of the pandemic, 34.5% of establishments increased telework for some or all of their employees.
  • Among establishments that increased telework during the pandemic, 60.2% expect to keep the increases permanent when the pandemic is over.
  • Covid-19 vaccinations were required for some or all employees before coming to work on-site at 17.5% of establishments.
  • A larger share of establishments, 28%, offered some or all employees a financial incentive or paid time off, or permitted employees to remain on the clock to get a Covid-19 vaccination.
  • As a result of the pandemic, 24.6% of establishments started to offer flexible or staggered work hours to employees.

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