Total solar eclipse could cost US employers $694 million

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Total solar eclipse could cost US employers $694 million

Considering only Chicago, the cost to employers could hit $28 million

By Wam

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Published: Fri 18 Aug 2017, 8:58 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Aug 2017, 11:01 PM

On August 21, the total eclipse of the sun will cost US employers $694 million, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by global outplacement and executive coaching firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Challenger estimates that workers will need approximately 20 minutes to gather their viewing equipment and find a spot to watch the two- to two-and-a-half-minute solar event.
Using average hourly wage data and the number of full-time employed workers 16 and over, the cost could hit almost $700 million nationally.
The cost to states and metro areas directly in the path of the eclipse, where traffic is expected to increase substantially, could see almost $200 million in lost productivity combined.
In fact, considering only Chicago, the cost to employers could hit $28 million.
"That is not to say employers need to board their windows and keep employees locked up in conference room meetings until the eclipse ends. Rather, looking for how to turn this lack of productivity into a way to increase morale and strengthen the team is a much better use of the eclipse," said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
''It's going to be pretty difficult to get people to keep working when the solar eclipse is happening, and preventing employees from viewing it will probably do more to harm morale than to increase productivity,'' he added.

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