Friday, May 8, 2020

8/5/20: The Path of a Tornado: U.S. Labour Force Numbers for April

So, BLS just printed their April 2020 numbers of official non-farm payrolls: And things are, expectedly, ugly.

Civilian 'non-institutional' population is up 1,203,000 y/y, while employment is down 23,384,000. Official unemployment i up from 3.3% in April 2019 to 14.4% in April 2020. Number not in the labour force are up 7,470,000 and numbers in unemployment are up 17,117,000 y/y. Which means that those out of employment are now up 24,587,000 year on year. Labour force participation rate is down from 62.7 in April 2019 to 60.0 in April 2020. In April 2019, 60.58 percent of the non-institutional American population was in employment. In April 2020 this figure was 51.30 percent. Which means that, excluding jails and military, almost 50 Americans out of 100 were not working even part-time.

Here's a summary of y/y comparatives by education status:

As the result of the massive wave of jobs destruction primarily concentrated in the lower wages categories of services workers, U.S. average labour earnings managed to actually increase (see a post on this from our friends at the Global Macro Monitor: In  fact, combined effects of exits from the labour force and unemployment increases for those with less than college degree amount to 74 percent (three quarters) of all jobs destruction compared to April 2019.

With this, based on the data through the week of May 2, 2020, total employment levels in the U.S. are now down to the levels of October-November 1999.

Meanwhile, things are going swimmingly for the financial markets recoveries:

Only foreclosures and evictions delays, unemployment checks and rent rollups are holding back a wave of mass discontent these days.

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