How Business Mileage is Rebounding Across Industries

Ken Robinson |

We’ve now passed the one-year anniversary of nation-wide shutdowns due to COVID-19. The week of April 5, 2020 marked the anniversary of the lowest level of business mileage over the last 12 months. As we look back at last year, it’s amazing to see the changes that occurred. Our latest flash trend report found that field activity is 75% higher than it was the week of April 5, 2020.

Field activity can serve as a strong indicator of economic health. We’re trending in the right direction, with the average business mileage during WorkForward rising to 70% of pre-pandemic levels.

Business leaders can use field activity as an input to near-term decision-making. This report serves as an indicator of where commercial activity is headed – onward and upward.

Here’s a closer look at other notable findings from the report:

  • Regionally, business mileage has increased across the country. The South and Western U.S. are experiencing the highest level of activity, both trending at about 72% of pre-pandemic levels. The Midwest is experiencing 70% growth in activity and business mileage in the Northeast has grown to 64% of pre-pandemic levels.
  • While activity levels vary from region to region, there is an even wider variety among industry sectors and their many subsectors. After seeing similar trajectories across most industries in March and April of 2020, different businesses are recovering at different speeds. Activity trends also differ depending on where and how companies operate.
  • Here’s a closer look at the recovery of various sectors:
    • Business Services (102%, +27% above the WorkForward average)
    • Food & Beverage (86% of pre-pandemic levels, a +46% increase over the lowest point the week of April 5th)
    • Construction & Building Materials (80% of pre-pandemic levels, -5% below the average)
    • Machinery (70% of pre-pandemic levels, +1% above the average)
    • Pharmaceutical/Biotech & Medical Devices (69% of pre-pandemic levels, +3% above the average)
    • Hospitals & Healthcare (64% of pre-pandemic levels, -15% below the average)
    • Retail (61% of pre-pandemic levels, +1% above the average)
    • Automotive (52% of pre-pandemic levels, +11% above the average)
    • Energy & Environmental (52% of pre-pandemic levels, +8% above the average)
    • Manufacturing (49% of pre-pandemic levels, +3% above the average)

Signs of pent-up demand are showing up on the leading edges of reopening states. As vaccinations increase among the population, we should expect to see a rapid recovery in business mileage across a broader range of economic sectors.

Business leaders can stay abreast of these trends and analyze their indicators to determine the best course of action. Companies can leverage their mileage data to quantify activity trends in their locations and industries as they WorkForward.

Read the Business Driving Returns report to learn more.