Number of the Day Shows Half of Businesses Halted Work

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4.38 million - That’s how many U.S. businesses told employees not to work for at least some point during the pandemic, according to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics survey.

The Balance

That’s how many U.S. businesses—52% of all establishments nationwide—told their employees not to work for at least some point during the pandemic, according to a new Bureau of Labor Statistics survey showing the pandemic’s widespread damage.

Of those businesses, 51%, employing 43.5 million workers, continued to pay at least some of their employees while they weren’t working, the BLS said this week. A smaller share, 42%, contributed to health insurance premiums for some or all of their employees during that time. 

The survey, reflecting data collected through Sept. 30, suggests aid played a significant role in keeping businesses afloat. About 62% of all businesses said they had received a coronavirus-related loan or grant tied to maintaining payroll or rehiring laid-off workers.

The pace of the labor market recovery has slowed dramatically in recent months, with only a little over half of the 22 million jobs lost in the pandemic yet to be replaced. What’s more, even those who are still employed may have experienced a pandemic pay cut. If you are among the workers now taking home a smaller paycheck, there are ways to cope.