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CHARTS

Most organizations have reduced workforce costs and many plan to take still more steps in the next 3 months (May through July 2020)

In the early months of COVID-19, most organizations (66 percent) immediately restricted hiring to critical roles. Many organizations took other actions to reduce workforce costs, such as freezing all hiring, reducing hours, deferring compensation, or implementing furloughs. At the other end of the spectrum, 13 percent of organizations in our study increased hiring during the pandemic, likely in essential businesses. Whatever an individual organization’s circumstances, reopening doesn’t mean “going back to pre-COVID-19.” In the next three months (May to July 2020), the most common expected actions are to require employees to take PTO or vacation time, defer pay, and implement furloughs. Few respondents indicated that they expect to implement furloughs without benefits or reduce 401(k) contributions. However, 16 percent of respondents expect permanent layoffs to come in the next three months, and 9 percent expect a major restructuring. 

For more HC COVID-19 survey results, see From Immediate Responses to Planning for the Reimagined Workplace: Human Capital Responses to COVID-19

For more information about cost-reduction actions during COVID-19, see Human Capital Management during COVID-19: Finding Innovative Alternatives to Layoffs

For more information about layoffs, see Human Capital Management during COVID-19: Conducting Compassionate Layoffs

AUTHORS

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Frank Steemers

Economist
The Conference Board

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Robin Erickson, PhD

Principal Researcher
The Conference Board

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Amanda Popiela

Researcher, Human Capital
The Conference Board

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Gad Levanon, PhD

Vice President, Labor Markets
The Conference Board

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Our Experts

Thought leaders who provide trusted insights for navigating companies and the economy though COVID-19.

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Bart van Ark

Executive Vice President & Global Chief Economist; Program Director, CFO: Fortune 250 Council

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Lynn Franco

Director, Economic Indicators and Surveys

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Ataman Ozyildirim, PhD

Director, Economic Research, and Global Research Chair

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Matteo Tonello

Managing Director, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

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Gad Levanon, PhD

Vice President, Labor Markets

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David Hoffman

Senior Vice President Asia and Managing Director of the China Center for Economics & Business

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Rebecca L. Ray, PhD

Executive Vice President, Human Capital

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Anke Schrader

Senior Researcher

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Amy Lui Abel, PhD

Vice President, Human Capital Research

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Thomas Singer

Principal Researcher

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Dr. Uwe G. Schulte

Leader, Global Sustainability Centre and Program Director

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Paul Washington

Executive Director, ESG Center

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Ilaria Maselli

Senior Economist

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Amanda Popiela

Researcher, Human Capital

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Elizabeth Crofoot

Senior Economist, Labor Markets

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John Forsyth

Leader of the Consumer Dynamics Institute

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Cindy Cisneros

Vice President of Education Programs

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Steve Odland

President and CEO

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Jeff Hoffman

Institute Leader, Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy, ESG Center

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Joseph J. Minarik

Senior Vice President and Director of Research

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Erik Lundh

Senior Economist

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Robin Erickson, PhD

Principal Researcher

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JP Kuehlwein

Marketing Institute Leader

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Denise Dahlhoff, PhD

Senior Researcher, Consumer Research

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Laura Sabattini, Ph.D.

Principal Researcher, Human Capital

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Robert Schwarz

Senior Researcher, ESG Center

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Chiqui Cartagena

Chief Marketing Officer & Center Leader, Marketing & Communications

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Dr. Mahdy Al Jazzaf

Executive Director

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Devin O’Connor

Deputy Director, Economic Research

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