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Half of businesses that told employees not to work continued paying them during COVID–19

January 08, 2021

Since January 1, 2020, about half of U.S. business establishments continued to pay at least some of their employees told not to work due to the COVID–19 pandemic. Larger businesses, those with 500 or more employees, continued to pay at least some of their employees told not to work at a higher rate (62 percent) than smaller businesses (51 percent).

Percent of establishments that continued paying employees who were told not to work due to the COVID–19 pandemic, by establishment size
Number of employees per establishment Continued paying employees Continued paying employees if business received a coronavirus-related loan or grant Continued paying employees if business did not receive a coronavirus-related loan or grant

Total U.S., private sector

51% 59% 38%

Number of employees per establishment

1 to 4

48 60 35

5 to 9

55 58 42

10 to 19

54 56 39

20 to 49

54 56 40

50 to 99

56 62 41

100 to 249

56 62 47

250 to 499

56 61 45

500 to 999

60 63 58

1000 or more

65 68 65

Small/Large

Small (1 to 499)

51 59 38

Large (500 or more)

62 65 60

When employers who told employees not to work received a loan or grant tied to rehiring or maintaining employees on their payroll, 59 percent continued to pay employees who were told not to work. Only 38 percent of businesses that did not receive a loan or grant continued to pay employees told not to work.

When businesses did not receive a loan or grant, larger businesses (60 percent) were more likely to continue paying employees told not to work than were smaller businesses (38 percent).

These data are from the Business Response Survey to the Coronavirus Pandemic. This is a new survey of business establishments conducted between July and September 2020 to ask questions on business experiences and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey received responses from over 150,000 establishments for seven different questions. For more information, see "2020 Results of the Business Response Survey." Also see charts and tables of the latest Business Response Survey data.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Half of businesses that told employees not to work continued paying them during COVID–19 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/half-of-businesses-that-told-employees-not-to-work-continued-paying-them-during-covid-19.htm (visited December 01, 2021).

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