Only 10% of employers expect Covid-19 layoffs to be permanent


Two-thirds of employers took some action in March and April that negatively impacted employee pay, including layoffs and furloughs, according to data released today by

Sixty-six percent of employers surveyed either reduced their workforce or employee pay in response to Covid-19; however, only 10% of respondents expect the layoffs to be permanent.

The survey found 32% of employers laid people off (temporary or permanent), 10% reduced base pay, and 21% reduced variable pay (including bonuses and commissions). In addition to the expectation that 90% of layoffs may be temporary, 65% of employers reported that base pay remained unchanged and 45% said they are leaving merit raises in place in 2020.

Industries that were hit the hardest by the economic downturn — such as retail (brick and mortar), manufacturing, nonprofits and healthcare — were more likely to take multiple negative actions that affected employee pay. For all industries, 20% of employers eliminated planned merit raises for 2020 and another 24% are postponing merit increases.

The survey, fielded in mid-April, included 1,176 people working in compensation or total rewards roles within HR.