Industry Indicators: Week Feb 14 – 20

iLevel presents intriguing data that offers a snapshot of notable industry changes and events during the week of Feb 14 through Feb 20.

The Pandemic Devasted Airline Travel  

In 2020, airlines experienced a 60% decline in passenger travel from 2019 (923 million to 368 million).  The airline industry has not seen such low numbers since 1985.   Accordingly the pandemic driven collapse produced record losses.  And while this year passenger numbers are likely to rise, projections depend crucially on the success of Covid-19 vaccine rollout.    

Vaccine Progress – then Winter Storms

Since late December 2020, the number of  daily vaccine doses administered have steadily improved.   Indeed, the 7-day average (red line) shows President Biden is on course for meeting his goal of 100 million doses administered in his first 100 days.  

However, this week’s dramatic winter storms demonstrate the many challenges in vaccine distribution – see the dip in the 7-day average below 1.5 million.  The storms across Texas and the South canceled mass vaccination sites and closed multiple county health departments.  The extreme weather also led to shipment delays – causing bottlenecks in vaccine distribution across the United States.      

Welcome to remote work – more meetings, more emails, longer days.

A recent Harvard Business School analyses of thousands of remote employees discovered longer workdays  during the early months of the pandemic – 8.2% increase or 48.5 minutes.  Workers reported non-stop, Zoom dominated home-work environment – punctuated by increased email obligations.  With the shift to home, employee’s ideal 9 to 5 business day seems to have disappeared.    

The first chart shows an increase in the number of emails sent per person each day.  As lockdowns took hold, notice the spike, then decline, and then rise back to pre-pandemic levels.  After a month into lockdowns, emails surged once again.  The substantial variation in email use after the lockdowns draws attention to the marked stability before.       

The next graph details the average workday duration in hours.  Before the lockdowns, approximately 9.6 hours. After lockdowns, a notable jump to 10.8 hours!  Work hours appeared to plateau thereafter but at a higher level than before lockdowns.     

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