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Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic

2021 Results of the Business Response Survey

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed new data on how U.S. businesses changed operations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These data are from the 2021 Business Response Survey (BRS) to the Coronavirus Pandemic. BRS data were collected from private-sector establishments from July 27, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Total U.S. estimates include the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additional information about the sample, questionnaire, and estimation can be found in the Technical Note.

Topics covered include 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.

Detailed results by topic are available in the tables and maps and charts.

BRS News Release

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 24% of establishments increased pay or gave bonuses  

2/9/2022

Data are available on how businesses changed operations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationwide, 34.5 percent of establishments increased telework for some or all employees, 14.5 percent increased base wages, and 17.5 percent required COVID-19 vaccinations for some or all employees.

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Highlighted Results

Changes in Pay

  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 14.5 percent of establishments (1.2 million, with 20.5 percent of all private-sector employment) increased base wages
  • Hazard pay or an hourly bonus were temporarily offered by 5.5 percent of establishments (471,000, with 15.7 percent of all private-sector employment).
  • One-time, special monetary bonuses for working during the pandemic were paid by 9.4 percent of establishments (809,000, with 23.7 percent of all private-sector employment).

Changes in Telework

  • As a result of the pandemic, 34.5 percent of establishments increased telework for some or all of their employees.
  • Among U.S. business establishments that increased telework during the pandemic, 60.2 percent expect to keep the increases permanent when the pandemic is over.

COVID-19 Vaccinations at Establishments

  • COVID-19 vaccinations were required for some or all employees before coming to work on-site at 17.5 percent of establishments.
  • A larger share of establishments, 28 percent, 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.

Flexible or Staggered Work Hours

  • As a result of the pandemic, 24.6 percent of establishments (2.1 million, with 33.9 percent of all private-sector employment) started to offer flexible or staggered work hours to employees.

See 2021 BRS National Data Table (XLSX)