At this point, the eclipse has more than likely passed you by, and hopefully, your eyes are still intact because you realized that there’s an inherent risk attached to staring directly at a hot fiery inferno. Maybe you were even fortunate enough to spend those 20 minutes in the path of totality, i.e. one of the best places to watch the eclipse.
But if you, your whole office, all of your friends, and the entire U.S. spent 20 minutes staring at the heavens, what does that mean for the workday? Faxes unsent, TPS reports unwritten, progress meetings postponed—but do we know exactly the dollar amount lost today, thanks to the eclipse? We do, thanks to CNBC.
Due to the eclipse, American employers will see a loss of $694 million in output, estimates outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. This number is based off an estimated 87 million employees who will miss approximately 20 minutes of work to watch the two and a half minute eclipse.
Andy Challenger, one of the firm’s partners, put the cosmic phenomenon in economic perspective, via CNBC.
“There’s very few people who are not going to walk outside when there’s a celestial wonder happening above their heads to go out and view it…[but] Compared to the amount of wages being paid to an employee over a course of a year, it is very small”
The solar eclipse won’t be triggering any micro-recessions, essentially. Even 10 minutes of work can make a huge difference, but hey, why not take the 20? These things happen only every couple of days, probably.