A withering, but patriotic slump

July 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM
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CHICAGO, July 2 (UPI) -- Hump day might turn into slump day this week, a Chicago outplacement firm said.

Having the Fourth of July fall on a Wednesday, sometimes referred to as hump day, means many workers will take an extra two days off this week, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Monday.

"The mid-week Independence Day holiday will most definitely have an impact," Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said in a statement.

"Many employers experience a slowdown in business during the summer months, which might make them more inclined to grant the extra days," Challenger said.

To add to that, recent temperatures are also likely to slow down production this week.

"People just move slower in the heat," Challenger said, noting temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the eastern United States and record heat in the Midwest.

In June, "nearly 2,500 high-temperature records were broken," the firm said.

If the math holds up, U.S. workers should be just about down to a crawl at this point.

Helsinki University of Technology and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2003 released a study that concluded worker productivity drops by 2 percent per degree for any day in which the temperature rises above 77 degrees.

"So, when the temperature reaches 97 degrees this week in Chicago, employers can expect a 40 percent drop in productivity," the firm said.

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