ECEC Report Briefing: Business Costs March 2022

Transactions on the Instawork platform track the wages paid to hourly workers and the total cost of their shifts to local businesses. This briefing focuses on costs to businesses for dozens of occupations in regions across the United States. 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.

Costs for prep cooks and line cooks rose across the country by 5% or more between December 2021 and March 2022, often in double digits. Costs for event servers also rose 3% or more in the Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Phoenix metro areas, as well as the Bay Area in California. These changes may reflect the post-Omicron and post-winter thaw, especially across the South. In the absence of other economic headwinds, the warming trend might have been expected to spread north in the spring. Yet many of the cost increases that occurred during the Omicron wave have slowed or even reversed in our most recent data.

Here are the biggest increases in costs from December 2021 to March 2022 by role:

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Here are shares of roles where business costs increased in major metropolitan areas:

17 Mar 2022 business costs briefing - regions

Here are the shares of regions where business costs rose for a selection of roles:

17 Mar 2022 business costs briefing - roles


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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