May the workforce be with you

Productivity expected to drop as workers take the day off to see new Star Wars movie
||Last Updated: 04/10/2003

North America is about to be hit by a plague — an attack from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away — that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity.

The recent opening of

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

is expected to have an impact on the economy in terms of absenteeism and productivity as millions of moviegoers give in to the “dark side of the force” and skip work to pack theatres.

In terms of lost wages alone, the daily cost to the U.S. economy could exceed US $319 million, based on 2.6 million full-time wage and salaried workers earning an average of US $122.80 per day taking an unscheduled day off to see the movie, according to a new survey by international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

“The positive impact of the movie opening (through) increased consumer spending on movie tickets and refreshments… could be offset by a spike in absenteeism and subsequent decrease in output,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. “

Attack of the Clones

has not enjoyed as much pre-release hype as

The Phantom Menace

, but the fervour and loyalty of Star Wars fans is truly unique.”

The biggest portion of opening day crowds is likely to be among salaried workers, particularly those in computer and technology-related jobs.

Galactic excuses

For fun, the authors of the survey put together a list of excuses that could be offered by your employees as to why they missed work to catch the new Star Wars movie:

•Darth Virus

•Palpatine Palpitations

•Skywalking Pneumonia

•SWSO (Star Wars Sick Out)


•Pink Jed-eye

•Yoda Yucky

•Anakin (or Padme) Pox

•Amidala Amnesia

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