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Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:30 AM

Nonfarm payroll employment falls by 701,000 in March; unemployment rate rises to 4.4%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Economic News Release USDL-20-0521

Employment Situation Summary
Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, April 3, 2020

Technical information:
Household data: cpsinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/cps
Establishment data: cesinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov


THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MARCH 2020


Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it. Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places. Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. Note that the March survey reference periods for both surveys predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures that occurred in the second half of the month. For more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

In March, the unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage point to 4.4 percent. This is the largest over-the-month increase in the rate since January 1975, when the increase was also 0.9 percentage point. The number of unemployed persons rose by 1.4 million to 7.1 million in March. The sharp increases in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus and efforts to contain it. (See table A-1. Measures from the household survey pertain to the week of March 8th to March 14th. For more information about how the household survey and its measures were affected by the coronavirus, see the box note at the end of this news release.)

In March, unemployment rates rose among all major worker groups. The rate was 4.0 percent for adult men, 4.0 percent for adult women, 14.3 percent for teenagers, 4.0 percent for Whites, 6.7 percent for Blacks, 4.1 percent for Asians, and 6.0 percent for Hispanics. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of unemployed persons who reported being on temporary layoff more than doubled in March to 1.8 million. The number of permanent job losers increased by 177,000 to 1.5 million. (See table A-11.)

The number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 1.5 million in March to 3.5 million, accounting for almost half of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million, was little changed in March and represented 15.9 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, decreased by 0.7 percentage point over the month. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, fell by 3.0 million to 155.8 million, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.0 percent, dropped by 1.1 percentage points over the month. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 5.8 million, increased by 1.4 million in March. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In March, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from the previous month. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, numbered 514,000 in March, up by 109,000 from the previous month. (See Summary table A.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in March (-701,000), reflecting the effects of the coronavirus and efforts to contain it. About two-thirds of the drop occurred in leisure and hospitality, mainly in food services and drinking places. Notable employment declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. In the prior 12 months, nonfarm employment growth had averaged 196,000 per month. (See table B-1. Measures from the establishment survey pertain to the pay period including March 12th; pay periods may be weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. For more information about the establishment survey reference period and how survey operations were affected by the coronavirus, see the box note at the end of this news release.)

In March, employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000. Most of the decline occurred in food services and drinking places (-417,000); this employment decline nearly offset gains over the previous 2 years. Employment in the accommodation industry also declined in March (-29,000).

Employment in health care and social assistance fell by 61,000 in March. Health care employment declined by 43,000, with job losses in offices of dentists (-17,000), offices of physicians (-12,000), and offices of other health care practitioners (-7,000). Over the prior 12 months, health care employment had grown by 374,000. In March, social assistance saw an employment decline of 19,000, reflecting a job loss in child day care services (-19,000). Over the prior 12 months, social assistance added 193,000 jobs.

Employment in professional and business services decreased by 52,000 in March, with the decline concentrated in temporary help services (-50,000). Employment also decreased in travel arrangement and reservation services (-7,000).

In March, employment in retail trade declined by 46,000. Job losses occurred in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-16,000); furniture stores (-10,000); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-9,000). General merchandise stores gained 10,000 jobs.

Employment decreased over the month in construction (-29,000). In March, nonresidential building (-11,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-10,000) lost jobs. Construction employment had increased by 211,000 over the prior 12 months.

Employment in the other services industry declined by 24,000 in March, with about half of the loss occurring in personal and laundry services (-13,000). Over the prior 12 months, other services had added 89,000 jobs.

Mining lost 6,000 jobs in March, with much of the decline occurring in support activities for mining (-5,000). Since a recent peak in January 2019, mining employment has declined by 42,000.

In March, manufacturing employment edged down (-18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment in the industry has shown little net change.

Federal government employment rose by 18,000 in March, reflecting the hiring of 17,000 workers for the 2020 Census.

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities, changed little over the month.

In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $28.62. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 10 cents to $24.07 in March. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 0.2 hour to 34.2 hours in March. The decline in the average workweek was most pronounced in leisure and hospitality, where average weekly hours dropped by 1.4 hours. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.3 hour to 40.4 hours, and overtime declined by 0.2 hour to 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.3 hour to 33.4 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised down by 59,000 from +273,000 to +214,000, and the change for February was revised up by 2,000 from +273,000 to +275,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February combined were 57,000 lower than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains averaged 245,000 per month for January and February.

_____________
The Employment Situation for April is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 8, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


________________________________________________________________________________

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 2020
Establishment and Household Survey Data

March data from the establishment and household surveys broadly reflect
some of the early effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the
labor market. We cannot precisely quantify the effects of the pandemic on
the job market in March. However, it is clear that the decrease in employment
and hours and the increase in unemployment can be ascribed to effects of the
illness and efforts to contain the virus. It is important to keep in mind
that the March survey reference periods for both surveys predated many
coronavirus-related business and school closures in the second half of the
month.

In the household survey, individuals are classified as employed, unemployed,
or not in the labor force based on their answers to a series of questions
about their activities during the survey reference week (March 8th through
March 14th). Workers who indicate they were not working during the entire
survey reference week and expect to be recalled to their jobs should be
classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. In March 2020, there was an
extremely large increase in the number of persons classified as unemployed
on temporary layoff.

However, there was also a large increase in the number of workers who were
classified as employed but absent from work. Special instructions sent to
household survey interviewers just before data collection started for March
called for all employed persons absent from work due to coronavirus-related
business closures to be classified as unemployed on temporary layoff.
However, it is apparent that not all such workers were so classified. Such
a misclassification is an example of nonsampling error and can occur when
respondents misunderstand questions or interviewers record answers
incorrectly.

If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to
"other reasons" (over and above the number absent for other reasons in a
typical March) had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the
overall unemployment rate would have been almost 1 percentage point higher
than reported. However, according to usual practice, the data from the
household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no
ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.

In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all
or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted
as employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are
temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs, but are not being paid,
are not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits.
The length of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the
establishment survey; one-third of respondents have a weekly pay period,
slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a
small amount monthly.

Data collection for both surveys was affected by the coronavirus. The
household survey is generally collected through in-person and telephone
interviews, but personal interviews were suspended during the collection
period for the safety of interviewers and respondents. The household survey
response rate, at 73 percent, was about 10 percentage points lower than in
recent months. In the establishment survey, about one-fifth of the data is
generally collected by telephone at four regional data collection centers.
Although these centers were closed during the collection period, efforts were
made to collect data electronically. The collection rate for the establishment
survey, at 66 percent, was about 9 percentage points lower than average.

More information is available at
www.bls.gov/cps/employment-situation-covid19-faq-march-2020.pdf.
________________________________________________________________________________

Read more: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm



It was fun while it lasted.

-- -- -- -- -- --

Nonfarm payroll employment falls by 701,000 in March; unemployment rate rises to 4.4% http://go.usa.gov/vrK #JobsReport #BLSdata


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Reply Nonfarm payroll employment falls by 701,000 in March; unemployment rate rises to 4.4% (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 OP
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #4
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #8
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #9
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #10
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #15
bucolic_frolic Apr 2020 #2
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #3
bucolic_frolic Apr 2020 #5
Igel Apr 2020 #25
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #7
gibraltar72 Apr 2020 #11
sandensea Apr 2020 #13
Laelth Apr 2020 #22
sandensea Apr 2020 #12
progree Apr 2020 #17
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #18
progree Apr 2020 #19
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #24
sandensea Apr 2020 #34
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #35
sandensea Apr 2020 #36
BumRushDaShow Apr 2020 #37
progree Apr 2020 #38
sandensea Apr 2020 #39
progree Apr 2020 #40
sandensea Apr 2020 #41
moose65 Apr 2020 #20
progree Apr 2020 #23
moose65 Apr 2020 #27
IronLionZion Apr 2020 #14
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #16
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #21
snpsmom Apr 2020 #26
Igel Apr 2020 #28
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #29
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #30
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #31
Cryptoad Apr 2020 #32
progree Apr 2020 #33
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2020 #42

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:35 AM

1. Good morning and TGIF

And you were ready for this! WaPo just had its breaking.

U.S. jobless rate climbed to 4.4 percent in March, capturing start of economic collapse that has gotten worse as coronavirus spreads

By Washington Post Staff
April 3, 2020 at 8:33 a.m. EDT

The U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, but the government data did not account for the crush of Americans who lost their jobs in the past two weeks and filed unemployment claims.
Economists now predict that later this year, the U.S. jobless rate will shatter levels set during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2020/04/03/u-s-jobless-rate-climbed-to-4-4-percent-in-march-capturing-start-of-economic-collapse-that-has-gotten-worse-as-coronavirus-spreads/


ETA - the news reports the past couple days noted that household surveys had been halted about 2 weeks before the most recent large set of layoffs so that won't be reflected until next month's report.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:42 AM

4. Sundials might count only the sunny hours, but not the BLS.

Last edited Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:43 AM - Edit history (1)

Good morning. Yeah, I was up early this morning. Now that I'm working from home, that's a thing.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:44 AM

6. Seeing the post up before I got it ready had me doing this



:

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:49 AM

8. Check the timestamp: 8:30 AM. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:54 AM

9. I know.

The embargo time!

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:56 AM

10. The ink was still wet. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:15 AM

15. ...

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:35 AM

2. "I alone can fix it."

Yes, you can. Resign.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:40 AM

3. BLS Information: April 3 Posting of Employment Situation for March 2020

BLS Information

April 3 Posting of Employment Situation for March 2020

On Friday, April 3, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will issue the March 2020 Employment Situation report at 8:30 a.m. EDT. A short time following the normal posting of the report here on www.bls.gov, the U.S. Department of Labor will post a copy of the news release at www.dol.gov/newsroom/economicdata to ensure that the public has an additional way to access the information. These copies are published without prior review, modification, or approval of the content by anyone outside of BLS.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:43 AM

5. Why would businesses borrow to pay employees when they can lay them off?

The $350 billion is said to be 'forgivable" whatever that means. Borrow? It's a handout. Fraudsters will be lined up around the block. Banks loan for profits, not for grants. Are there standards? The incentive to pay loans back is .... zero?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:36 AM

25. Different programs, I think.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:47 AM

7. Links to charts and graphs from the BLS Twitter account:

Last edited Sat Apr 4, 2020, 01:05 PM - Edit history (2)

These will get explained in an article in The Wall Street Journal., but the explanation will be behind a paywall.

See our interactive graphics on today’s #JobsReport http://go.usa.gov/cn5B4 #BLSdata #DataViz



Understanding BLS Unemployment Statistics #JobsReport #BLSdata



{edited on Saturday to add:}

More charts and analysis on the March nonfarm payroll employment numbers http://go.usa.gov/4UqY #JobsReport #BLSdata


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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 07:59 AM

11. BuiL Shit numbers.

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Response to gibraltar72 (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:05 AM

13. +1

That's what I was thinking (just below).

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Response to gibraltar72 (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:29 AM

22. The actual employment picture is always worse than the official numbers. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:04 AM

12. And yet, civilian EMployment shows a fall of nearly 3,000,000.

https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-employment.htm

As usual, the headline household survey is both behind the curve - as well as less accurate.

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Response to sandensea (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:16 AM

17. It's the Establishment Survey that produces the headline -701,000 non-farm payroll jobs number

whereas the Household Survey produces the Employment number (-2.987 million) and the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate.

The Establishment Survey is considered the more accurate of the two. But the two surveys were not done at the same time.

Non-farm payroll jobs (Establshment Survey)
https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0000000001?output_view=net_1mth

Employed (Household Survey)
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12000000?output_view=net_1mth




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Response to sandensea (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:17 AM

18. There were news reports the past couple days that noted that the surveys were halted

2 weeks before the most recent huge set of layoffs. So the expectation is that we won't see the impact until next month's report.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:19 AM

19. Why do you use the word "halted"? Makes it sound like something other than their usual procedure to

pick a survey week. Like geez this is turning out bad, let's cut the survey short, as in "Achtung! Halt!"

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Response to progree (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:31 AM

24. That was the word the news media has been using

(not my term)

I know they (or any data outlet) need to have a time range to gather the data, and need a cutoff to provide enough time to analyze that data and generate the report for release at certain times of the month. Hell, I did enough of that type of data-gathering and reporting stuff with deadlines before I retired.

I expect the business media used that term because they know the average person would be in disbelief of this month's announcement not knowing how the typical monthly BLS reports are generated and when the data is gathered for them.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 12:24 PM

34. Thank you for the heads up!

That would explain it.

Now that you mention it, I do seem to remember news that Cheeto was "considering" halting all unemployment data releases.

Orange Baby don't like big, ugly numbers.

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Response to sandensea (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 12:28 PM

35. Well - since this report usually appears the first Friday of the month (in general)

they really can't try to take the data from right up to the day before and be able to have enough time get it tabulated for release. So they gather from about mid-month to mid-month and then will report out on the scheduled beginning of month date.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 12:34 PM

36. Thanks again.

Here's hoping this is behind us all, and soon.

That's a lot of people being forced to worry about how they'll pay the bills next month.

It wouldn't surprise me if Cheeto had a hand in this, frankly.

"You told me it wouldn't be a problem if it hit the States!"

"Sir, we tried to tell you it would."

"But you didn't convince me!!"

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Response to sandensea (Reply #36)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 12:53 PM

37. Here in PA, the state is going to stop paychecks for 9,000 state employees (annoucned today)

who can't telework. The checks will stop at the end of next week.

As a now-retired federal worker who has been there done that with "furloughs" after government shutdowns when jackass RW loons trigger them, I hope the media and others now see how being "furloughed" is no trivial or laughing matter, where the workers "deserved it because they get paid too much and don't do anything" (the corporate narrative).

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Response to sandensea (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 02:11 PM

38. This might be what you are remembering

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/20/politics/labor-department-states-unemployment-numbers-coronavirus/index.html
Trump administration asking states to delay release of unemployment numbers, CNN, 3/20/20

The US Department of Labor sent guidance to state labor agencies on Wednesday, asking them to hold off on releasing unemployment claims data earlier than the regularly scheduled national report on initial claims, according to a state labor agency.

The department asked state officials in an email Wednesday to only "provide information using generalities to describe claims levels (very high, large increase)" and keep the exact figures under embargo until next Thursday, according to The New York Times, which obtained the email.


This is unemployment insurance claims data and has nothing to do with today's job report, including the unemployment rate. But rather they don't want the states releasing unemployment claims information to the public ahead of the weekly unemployment claims report that are released every Thursday. (I suspect they don't want more than one bad news story on unemployment insurance claims each week. That's not right, but anyway that's probably the rationale)

Unemployment insurance claims are not at all the source of the unemployment rate in today's jobs report, or any of the monthly first Friday jobs reports. Rather, the unemployment rate is gathered from a monthly survey of 70,000 households, in this case during the survey week of March 8 through 14.

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Response to progree (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:23 PM

39. Thank you, Progree. I'm surprised he didn't intervene to stop today's jobs data, frankly.

Or massage the numbers - which is probably what Munchkin and the rest of them are advising him to do.

"Massage!? I like the sound of that - speaking of which, where's Ivanka!?"

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Response to sandensea (Reply #39)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:37 PM

40. Today's jobs report, in restrospect will be seen as the "good ol' days" compared to what's coming in

April's report (due May 8 -- one of the rare times its out on the 2nd Friday instead of the first Friday).

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Response to progree (Reply #40)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:47 PM

41. Sad but true - and that's where Cheeto will feel the greatest temptation to impound those numbers

"I'm a wartime president, goddamit! In wars you don't put out numbers!"

"But, sir. Economic data was published on time and in full by both FDR and Churchill throughout the war."

"Bunch of pussies! You realize they never nuked anyone!?"

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Response to sandensea (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:20 AM

20. From what I understand....

The BLS report that is issued on the first Friday of the month only reports numbers up to the 12th of the month or so. So this report is actually for the second half of February and the first part of March. The layoffs really exploded after that. The April numbers will be frightening.

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Response to moose65 (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:31 AM

23. "The April numbers will be frightening." Yes, you are right ...

The weekly claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending March 21 and the week ending March 28 combined to a total of just under 10 million. These weeks came after the survey week.

Initial unemployment claims:
For the week ending 3/21: 3,307,000.
For the week ending 3/28: 6,648,000
==========================
Last 2 weeks (sum of the above): 9,955,000

And this doesn't count the number of people who tried to file a claim but couldn't because of overloaded systems (at least in my local press in the Twin Cities I read a lot of stories about that).

Nor does everyone laid off file unemployment claims (aside from those who couldn't file because of overloaded systems). Such as self-employed and gig workers who aren't eligible, though that very recently changed with the CARES act, but I suspect that most didn't know and apply during the periods ending 3/28 and before .... I don't know exactly when that provision took effect.

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Response to progree (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:38 AM

27. Wow, that's unbelievable

Even in the depths of the Great Recession, the largest loss of jobs in one month was around 800,000 I think. This will blow that completely out of the water.

I wonder how the Republicans will try to spin this. Yes, we all realize that this is uncharted territory. However, Trump takes credit for good news that he is only peripherally involved in, so he has to take the bad, too. They'll be out there trying to explain this away, but as some famous pundit whose name I can't remember said, "If you're explaining, you're losing."

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:09 AM

14. April will be in the millions

so much winning

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:16 AM

16. Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


Statement of

William W. Beach
Commissioner
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Friday, April 3, 2020


Nonfarm payroll employment declined by 701,000 in March,
and the unemployment rate increased to 4.4 percent, reflecting
the broad impact on the job market of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
and efforts to contain the illness. Employment fell by 459,000
in the leisure and hospitality industry, mainly in food services
and drinking places. Notable employment decreases also occurred
in health care and social assistance, professional and business
services, retail trade, and construction.

It is important to keep in mind that the March survey
reference periods for the establishment and household surveys
(the pay period or week, respectively, that includes the 12th of
the month) predated many business and school closures that
occurred in the second half of the month. In addition, data
collection for the two surveys was affected by the coronavirus.
Although response rates for both surveys were adversely affected
by pandemic-related issues, we still were able to obtain
estimates from our two surveys that met BLS standards for
accuracy and reliability.

Incorporating revisions for January and February, which
decreased payroll employment by 57,000 on net, job gains
averaged 245,000 in the first 2 months of 2020 before the
substantial coronavirus-related decline in March.

Within the leisure and hospitality industry, employment
fell by 417,000 in food services and drinking places in March,
as many restaurants and bars cut back operations. This
employment decline nearly offset the gains over the prior 2
years. Elsewhere in leisure and hospitality, the accommodation
industry lost 29,000 jobs in March.

Employment declined by 61,000 in health care and social
assistance in March. Health care employment declined by 43,000,
with losses occurring in offices of dentists (-17,000), offices
of physicians (-12,000), and offices of other health
practitioners (-7,000). From February 2019 to February 2020,
health care added jobs each month, with an average monthly gain
of 31,000. Employment in social assistance decreased by 19,000
in March, reflecting a job loss in child day care services
(-19,000).

Professional and business services lost 52,000 jobs in
March, with the decline concentrated in temporary help services
(-50,000). Employment also declined in travel arrangement and
reservation services (-7,000).

Employment in retail trade decreased by 46,000 over the
month, with job losses occurring in clothing stores (-16,000);
furniture stores (-10,000); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and
music stores (-9,000). By contrast, employment increased in
general merchandise stores (+10,000).

After an average monthly employment increase of 40,000
in January and February, construction employment declined by
29,000 in March. Job losses occurred in nonresidential building
(-11,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction
(-10,000).

Employment in the other services industry declined by
24,000 in March, with about half of the loss occurring in
personal and laundry services (-13,000). Over the prior 12
months, other services had added 89,000 jobs.

Mining employment decreased by 6,000 in March, mostly in
support activities for mining. Since a peak in January 2019,
mining has lost 42,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment edged down in March (-18,000).
Over the past year, manufacturing employment has changed little
on net.

Federal government employment rose by 18,000 in March. The
gain largely reflects the hiring of 17,000 temporary workers for
the 2020 Census.

Employment in other major industries--including wholesale
trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and
financial activities--showed little change in March.

Average weekly hours decreased by 0.2 hour in March for all
private-sector workers, also reflecting the impact of the
coronavirus. The decline in the average workweek was most
pronounced in the leisure and hospitality industry, where
average weekly hours dropped by 1.4 hours over the month.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 11 cents in March to $28.62, following a gain
of 8 cents in February. Over the past 12 months, average hourly
earnings have risen by 3.1 percent. From February 2019 to
February 2020, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
(CPI-U) increased by 2.3 percent (on a seasonally adjusted
basis).

Turning to the labor market indicators from the household
survey, the unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage point
to 4.4 percent in March, and the number of unemployed people
increased by 1.4 million to 7.1 million. The increase in the
unemployment rate was the largest single-month change since
January 1975, when it also increased by 0.9 percentage point.
The bulk of the increase in unemployment occurred among people
on temporary layoff, which increased by 1.0 million in March to
1.8 million.

Among the unemployed, the number of people searching for
work for less than 5 weeks was 3.5 million, an increase of 1.5
million from February. These recently unemployed people
represented nearly half (48.5 percent) of the unemployed in
March. The number of people searching for work for 27 weeks or
more was little changed at 1.2 million. These long-term
unemployed accounted for 15.9 percent of the unemployed.

The labor force participation rate declined by 0.7
percentage point in March to 62.7 percent. The employment-
population ratio fell by 1.1 percentage points over the month to
60.0 percent.

In March, 5.8 million people were working part time for
economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time
workers), 1.4 million more than in February. Most of this
increase was among people whose hours were cut due to slack work
or business conditions.

Among those neither working nor looking for work in March,
1.4 million were considered marginally attached to the labor
force, essentially unchanged over the month. (People who are
marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12
months.) Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally
attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered
514,000 in March, up 109,000 from February.

In addition to the increase in the number of unemployed
people, there was also an increase in the number of workers who
were classified as employed but absent from work for the entire
reference week. Special instructions sent to household survey
interviewers just before data collection started for March
called for all employed people absent from work due to
coronavirus-related business closures to be classified as
unemployed on temporary layoff. However, after BLS reviewed the
data, it was apparent that not all such workers were so
classified. Such a misclassification is an example of
nonsampling error and can occur when respondents misunderstand
questions or interviewers record answers incorrectly. As is our
usual practice, no ad hoc actions were taken to reassign survey
responses; the data were accepted as recorded.

If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent
from work due to "other reasons" (over and above the number
absent for other reasons in a typical March) had been classified
as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate
would have been almost 1 percentage point higher than reported.
Additional information is available online at
www.bls.gov/cps/employment-situation-covid19-faq-march-2020.pdf.

Summarizing the labor market developments in March, nonfarm
payroll employment declined by 701,000, and the unemployment
rate increased to 4.4 percent, broadly reflecting some of the
early effects on the job market of the coronavirus and efforts
to contain it.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:25 AM

21. BLS News Release: THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MARCH 2020

This is a .pdf presentation of today's news release. You can save the whole thing in one place.

https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/economicdata/empsit_04032020.pdf

BLS Information

April 3 Posting of Employment Situation for March 2020

On Friday, April 3, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will issue the March 2020 Employment Situation report at 8:30 a.m. EDT. A short time following the normal posting of the report here on www.bls.gov, the U.S. Department of Labor will post a copy of the news release at www.dol.gov/newsroom/economicdata to ensure that the public has an additional way to access the information. These copies are published without prior review, modification, or approval of the content by anyone outside of BLS.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:37 AM

26. Krugman

says Justin Wolfers thinks we're already at 13% [link:
?s=20|

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:42 AM

28. Imagine the poor workers who had to produce these reports.

"Yeah, I know that my data's been washed away by a tsunami that struck right after I stopped collecting. And who could have predicted that--well, damn near everybody.

"Still, gotta process the numbers, do the analysis, write the report, knowing that the response will be dismissiveness at best and open ridicule at ... average. And that's just those on the friends and family plan.

"Nobody wants this, nobody cares about this, and it's a complete and total waste of time.

"Hey, everybody, here's my shitty report! Yeah, it's so meaningless that playing with my bellybutton lint would provide more social utility. Just ... be social and keep your distance.

"Damn. Bars are closed."

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Response to Igel (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:45 AM

29. They have jobs, with terrific health insurance and a great 401(k).

I don't know if they get to work from home or not, considering the secrecy that surrounds the report.

I suspect that a BLS economist gets respect. Maybe not this month at ZIP code 20500, but generally.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:50 AM

30. Links to earlier reports:

Good morning, all.

Wed Mar 4, 2020: Links to earlier reports:

Friday, February 7, 2020: Links to earlier reports:

Thursday, January 9, 2020: Links to earlier reports:

Updated from this post of Friday, December 6, 2019: Good morning. Links to earlier reports:

-- -- -- -- -- --

[center]Past Performance is Not a Guarantee of Future Results.[/center]

Nonetheless, what is important is not this month's results, but the trend. Let’s look at some earlier numbers:

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in March 2020:

Private-sector employment decreased by 27,000 from February to March, on a seasonally adjusted basis

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in February 2020:

The U.S. labor market showed strength in February, adding 273,000 jobs

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in February 2020:

U.S. adds 183,000 private-sector jobs in February, ADP says

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in January 2020:

The economy added 225,000 jobs in January, showing continued strength

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in January 2020:

ADP says 291,000 private-sector jobs created in January, largest gain in 4 years

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in December 2019:

Economy adds 145,000 jobs in December as unemployment rate remains at 3.5 percent

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in December 2019:

U.S. private sector adds the most jobs in eight months

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in November 2019:

Labor market remained strong in November as U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in November 2019:

U.S. private sector job growth slows down sharply in November: ADP

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in October 2019:

U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October as GM strike displaced workers; jobless rate ticks up

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in September 2019:

U.S. economy added just 136,000 jobs in September, in fresh sign economy is cooling

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in September 2019:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 135,000 Jobs in September

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in August 2019:

U.S. economy adds just 130,000 jobs in August amid worries

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in August 2019:

Survey: Businesses added a solid 195,000 jobs in August

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in July 2019:

U.S. Added 164,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Rate at 3.7 Percent

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in July 2019:

ADP says 156,000 private-sector jobs added created in July

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in June 2019:

Hiring rebounds as U.S. economy adds 224,000 jobs in June;unemployment rate inched up to 3.7 percent

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in June 2019:

U.S. private sector hiring picks up less than expected in June: ADP

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in May 2019:

The U.S. economy added only 75,000 jobs in May amid bite from Trump's trade war

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in May 2019:

ADP private-sector job growth tumbles to a 9-year low in May

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in April 2019:

UPDATE: U.S. unemployment fell to 3.6 percent, lowest since 1969

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in April 2019:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 275,000 Jobs in April

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in March 2019:

UPDATE: U.S. added 196,000 jobs in March as economy shows signs of spring bounce

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in March 2019:

Private sector hiring falls to 18-month low, and manufacturing sheds jobs, ADP says

Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment in February 2019:

U.S. adds meager 20,000 jobs in February to mark smallest increase in 17 months

ADP[sup]®[/sup] (Automatic Data Processing), for employment in February 2019:

ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 183,000 Jobs in February

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 08:54 AM

31. Additional links:

It used to be that you could get free access to articles in The Wall Street Journal. by going in through TWSJ.'s Twitter account or the Twitter accounts of the authors:

How to get around the paywall to read articles in The Wall Street Journal.:

For free access to articles in The Wall Street Journal., trying going in through the authors' Twitter feeds:

This trick doesn't seem to work anymore, but you might be able to get in if they've slipped up. Here are those accounts:

* * * * *

The Wall Street Journal.: @WSJ
https://twitter.com/wsj

Wall Street Journal

Breaking news and features from the WSJ.

* * * * *

Ben Leubsdorf: @BenLeubsdorf
https://twitter.com/BenLeubsdorf

I cover the economy at @WSJ. @ConMonitorNews, @AP, @the_herald alum. DC native. Hyperactive news omnivore. Also I like burritos. ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

* * * * *

Josh Zumbrun: ‎@JoshZumbrun
https://twitter.com/JoshZumbrun

National economics correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. Covering the world's usual state of greed and disorder, confusion and apathy. josh.zumbrun@wsj.com

* * * * *

Nick Timiraos: @NickTimiraos
https://twitter.com/NickTimiraos

National economics correspondent, The Wall Street Journal

Please look at the tweets, as Nick Timiraos likes to slice and dice the data every which way. Also, link to the "11 charts " article from his Twitter feed to get past TWSJ.'s paywall.

* * * * *

Jeffrey Sparshott: @jeffsparshott
https://twitter.com/jeffsparshott

Jeffrey.Sparshott@wsj.com

* * * * *

Paul Vigna: @paulvigna
https://twitter.com/paulvigna
Markets, bitcoin, and the zombie apocalypse.

* * * * *

Eric Morath: @EricMorath
https://twitter.com/EricMorath

Eric.Morath@wsj.com
I'm a Wall Street Journal economy reporter, dad, husband and Spartan for life. eric.morath@wsj.com

Washington DC

blogs.wsj.com/economics/

* * * * *

Sarah Chaney: ‎@sechaney
https://twitter.com/sechaney

Economy Reporter at The Wall Street Journal. Tar Heel. sarah.chaney@wsj.com

* * * * *

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 09:25 AM

32. 2 + 2 equals 1236!

Well he told the Labor Secretary to whitewash these figures three weeks ago. Looks like they did and more, maybe a little book cooking too. U dont have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to know if 10 millions file for UE benefits far more than 600,000 lost their jobs......

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Response to Cryptoad (Reply #32)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 09:40 AM

33. The survey week for the BLS reports we're reading about today ended March 14

just as the mass layoffs were beginning.

The 10 million that filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the two weeks ending March 21 and March 28 combined did not include the survey week for the BLS jobs reports we're reading about today.

For the week ending March 14, only 281,000 filed for unemployment insurance benefits.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Apr 9, 2020, 01:35 PM

42. The mind-numbing rant, based on a version posted on the first Friday in September 2016:

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