Friday, March 27, 2020

Daily Data on Hours Worked

I received the following email yesterday:
Thank you for blogging on the papers concerning the economic impact of coronavirus. I've been a fan of yours for many years, since using your textbook as an undergraduate. I'm reaching out to share some data that might be of interest to you. I am a software engineer at Homebase, the leading scheduling and time tracking solution for small businesses across the US, so we see daily clock-in and clock-out data. We are able to see how many workers are working fewer hours or no hours versus before coronavirus and track the economic impact of this on workers and businesses across the country in real-time.
You can see their data at this link. It shows that hours worked by hourly employees is down by more than 50 percent. FYI, hourly workers make up about 60 percent of the labor force, most of the rest being salaried workers. It is not clear to me how representative the Homebase data are, but they may turn out to be a good resource for tracking the economy in real time.