ASE Releases Employer COVID-19 Response Survey Findings - American Society of Employers - Heather Nezich

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ASE Releases Employer COVID-19 Response Survey Findings

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Communications Manager, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, MI --- September 3, 2020 --- ASE, Michigan’s largest employer association, has released two surveys aimed at tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Michigan businesses. The surveys, Business Practices Update and the COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey, launched on July 23rd, assess the economic impact of the current pandemic and how employers are adjusting work from home practices, employee travel, and paid time off benefits.

Specific highlights from the COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey include the following:

  • Nearly half (48.5%) of businesses surveyed indicate that their future (i.e., 6 - 12 months) business outlook has “worsened moderately” as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Nearly a quarter (23.1%) indicated it had “worsened significantly.”
  • Hiring expectations in the next six to 12 months has been curtailed significantly due to the current economic climate.  In fact, nearly a quarter have frozen hiring, and nearly 40% expect to decrease hiring compared to the previous six months.
  • Nearly half (47.8%) of the sample implemented layoffs since the pandemic started.
  • Wages and pay increases have also been impacted.  Nearly 40% of organizations have delayed merit increases.  Slightly more than a third have frozen workforce salaries.

Data for this survey was collected from July 23rd to August 14th. A total of 134 companies participated.

Specific highlights from the Business Practices Update Survey include the following:

  • There is still much uncertainty around when employees will return to their physical workplaces.  In fact, nearly half (45.8%) have not set a specific date or are unsure when employees will return.  Slightly more than 10% suggest that a return to work will occur in the first quarter of 2021.
  • There had been concerns about the use of vacation in the second half of the year due to Michigan’s Stay Safe, Stay Home order.  However, most organizations (77.1%) have not made changes to their vacation/PTO plans. 
  • Given safety concerns, employers must now be cognizant of employees off-work behavior, particularly around travel.  However, more than 40% of employers do not require or mandate quarantining for personal domestic travel.   Roughly a quarter of employers require their employees to quarantine for recent domestic air travel or travel to certain states or areas.

Data for this survey was collected from July 23rd to August 14th. A total of 144 companies participated.

These surveys are barometers of the challenges employers, and particularly Human Resource departments, face in light of the pandemic.  “From the beginning the impact of the pandemic on employers has been significant and in constant flux.  And in many ways, the Human Resource function has led the way in tackling these challenges” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO.


For employer resources on handling the COVID-19 pandemic and for daily updates, please visit  The complete survey reports are also available on this page.


About ASE
ASE is Michigan’s trusted HR partner.  ASE is a non-profit, membership organization – everything we do is based on the needs of members and to drive the success of their organizations.  ASE strengthens organization's HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. We provide our members guidance through new legislation and workplace issues such as those currently occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ASE at


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