The total solar eclipse hitting right in the middle of Monday's workday could disrupt productivity for 82.8% of working Americans across the country to the tune of $694 million, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
It's the first time since 1979 that a total solar eclipse has been this visible for this much of the country. The two-and-a-half-minute eclipse will take watchers out of the office for about 20 minutes, counting time to gather viewing equipment and find a place to take in the sights.
The cost to metro areas and states in the direct path of the eclipse is higher, as traffic is expected to increase substantially. In Chicago alone, the cost to employers is predicted to hit $28 million.
Even though the cost of this eclipse is creeping up on $700 million for employers across the U.S., it could be worse. The event is around lunchtime, so the financial impact is "minimal," Challenger said.
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Editors' Pick: Originally published on August 17, 2017.