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Big Retailers Aside, Fewer Employers Are Requiring Employees Work Thanksgiving

The number of employers requiring Thanksgiving shifts has been in decline since 2000.



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Walmart, Target, and several other major retailers will open for at least part of the day on Thursday, in the hopes of drawing Christmas shoppers. But a survey conducted by Bloomberg BNA finds the number of employers requiring workers to punch in on Thanksgiving is trending downward.

The survey revealed 33 percent of responding employers say they’ll require at least some employees to work on Thanksgiving. That’s down from 37 percent last year. Reports of Thanksgiving work shifts regularly exceeded 40 percent starting in the mid-1990s, peaking at 48 percent in the year 2000 before beginning a gradual decline.

“Security, public safety folks have to work,” says Matt Sottong, Bloomberg BNA’s director of surveys and research reports. “People who man the utilities, where there’s got to be somebody on duty making sure the electricity’s working and the water’s working, those folks have to work. But, for the most part, people certainly get the Thursday off, and most people get Friday off as well.”

The survey also found 74 percent of employers requiring Thanksgiving duty will provide extra pay or leave in compensation this year. That’s up from 55 percent in 2013.



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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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