ECI Release Briefing: Indexed Business Costs to November 2022

Transactions on the Instawork platform track the pay of hourly workers and the total cost of their shifts to local businesses. This briefing includes indexed cost trends for various roles in regions across the United States and Canada. 

Because the Instawork platform is part of a competitive labor market for hourly work, the trends shown here for total business costs are expected to follow the costs of other sources of staffing over time. Data used in this briefing may include data on future shifts that have been booked on the Instawork platform but have not yet taken place.

Business cost trends

Business costs on an hourly basis have been steady or falling in hospitality since the summer. In the spring, an uptick in consumer spending on services delivered outside the home, combined with a shortage of workers in the sector, sent costs higher. But costs plateaued in the summer and have started to come down for some roles. This reflects a seasonal trend as well as a possible pullback in demand for non-essential services during a period of mounting economic uncertainty.

Hourly labor costs in entertainment have followed a roughly similar pattern, with costs for concession and stand workers diving sharply as the summer event and sports seasons have wound down. Labor costs in most industrial roles has been flat this year, though custodial work has ticked up slightly.

Here are the trends in business costs for 14 roles transacted on the Instawork platform where we have sufficient data for a time series beginning in July 2021. The charts include data for shifts in November 2022 that have already been booked, where available:

Hospitality and food service

After months of steady increases in most hospitality roles, businesses are targeting slightly lower costs in August 2022.

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for bartender-2

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for busser

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for dishwasher

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for line cook27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for prep cook

Entertainment

The majority of lasting increases in costs had ended by the fall of 2021, with only a spike in costs for concession or stand workers when the baseball, basketball, and ice hockey seasons overlapped in the spring.

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for concession or stand worker27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for counter staff or cashier

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for event server

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for event setup and takedown

Industrial and other services

Business costs for custodial work spiked in the summer of 2021 but has been steady since. Other roles, particularly in warehouse work, have shown modest increases at most.

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for custodial

27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for general labor27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for runner27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for warehouse associate - entry level27 Oct 2022 business cost trend for warehouse associate - intermediate

 

We will continue to track these changes in business costs in the quarters to come. We welcome your suggestions for additions to this briefing.

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