Watchers 'could cost United States bosses $947m'

Although $700million sounds like a lot more time is wasted on things like March Madness or the Superbowl

It may be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but next Monday's total eclipse of the sun will cost US companies hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible across the entire United States.

Based an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worker outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that employers could lose as much as $694 million because of the solar eclipse, which occurs during a workday, company representatives said in a statement.

CGC released data in support of an estimated $700 million in lost productivity to its website in the form of a press release.

If you take 87 million estimated workers, subtracting the cost of 20 minutes of unproductive time from the average hourly wage of $23.86, you get a figure of $7.95 per worker for those 20 minutes. Challenger, Grey estimates that the eclipse will cost the Chicago area $28 million, for example. At Purch's headquarters in Ogden, Utah, employees will head outside to experience their own partial eclipse.

"A loss of productivity does not necessarily mean that good things can not come out of this eclipse".

"That is not to say employers need to board their windows and keep employees locked up in conference room meetings until the eclipse ends", said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger.

However, Challenger said that this was still a small sum.

"Since this is happening over the lunch hours, the financial impact is minimal". Experts are encouraging employers to make the best of the situation by holding viewing parties and other team-building activities.

"Compared to the amount of wages being paid to an employee over a course of a year, it is very small", Challenger said. And then there's Jim, who's just going to call it a day when the the big show starts. Online shopping is also a big distraction for workers, with Career Builder claiming in 2016 that 53 percent of employees shop online during work hours.

The next solar eclipse visible from parts of the US takes place on October 14, 2023.

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