(Bloomberg) -- A high-frequency measure of hours worked in the U.S. may indicate an upside surprise in November payroll gains.

Ultimate Kronos Group’s workforce activity, an index of hours worked and shift data from 3.8 million employees at 35,000 U.S. businesses, rose 1.4% month over month in November after gaining 0.1% in October.

During this year’s economic recovery, increases in the UKG indicator in March, June and July have coincided with national job numbers that exceeded economists’ predictions for the corresponding month.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg on average anticipate a gain of 550,000 in nonfarm payrolls published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. That would be the most since July.

The UKG index is calculated mid-month, which lines up with the survey period of the jobs report. November activity was boosted by holiday hiring, according to UKG, a privately held workforce management company.

“Shift work growth started to accelerate in late September and has continued to pick up speed throughout November,” UKG Vice President Dave Gilbertson said in a release.

The UKG index saw growth across nearly every industry, including health care, which had its first month-over-month increase in November since March and only the second since September 2020. 

The monthly report tracks the number of times that employees -- especially those who are paid hourly or must be physically present at a workplace to perform their jobs -- “clock in” and “clock out” via a time clock, mobile app, computer, or other device at the beginning and end of each shift.

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