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BLS Releases March 2020 Employment Situation (May 2020)

05.08.2020

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.

Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 57,000 in February. Health care added 32,000 jobs, with gains in offices of physicians (+10,000), home health care services (+10,000), and hospitals (+8,000). Employment in social assistance increased by 25,000, with a majority of the gain in individual and family services (+18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment increased by 368,000 in health care and by 191,000 in social assistance.   Food services and drinking places added 53,000 jobs in February. Employment in the industry has increased by 252,000 over the past 7 months, following a lull in job growth earlier in 2019.

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.

The full BLS press release on the March 2020 employment situation can be accessed in the .pdf below.

The next employment situation report for April 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 8, 2020. 


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BLS Releases April 2020 Employment Situation

05.08.2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality.

In April, the unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent. This is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in the history of the series (seasonally adjusted data are available back to January 1948).  The number of unemployed persons rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million in April.  The sharp increases in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it.

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, after declining by 881,000 in March.  The April over-the-month decline is the largest in the history of the series and brought employment to its lowest level since January 2011 (the series dates back to 1939).  Job losses in April were widespread, with the largest employment decline occurring in leisure and hospitality.

In April, employment in leisure and hospitality plummeted by 7.7 million, or 47 percent. Almost threequarters of the decrease occurred in food services and drinking places (-5.5 million).  Employment also fell in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry (-1.3 million) and in the accommodation industry (-839,000).  Employment declined by 2.5 million in education and health services in April.  In health care, employment declined by 1.4 million, led by losses in offices of dentists (-503,000), offices of physicians (-243,000), and offices of other health care practitioners (-205,000).  Employment also declined in social assistance (-651,000), reflecting job losses in child day care services (-336,000) and individual and family services (-241,000).  Employment in private education declined by 457,000 over the month.  Professional and business services shed 2.2 million jobs in April. Sharp losses occurred in temporary help services (-842,000) and in services to buildings and dwellings (-259,000).

In April, employment in retail trade declined by 2.1 million. Job losses occurred in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-740,000), motor vehicle and parts dealers (-345,000), miscellaneous store retailers (-264,000), and furniture and home furnishings stores (-209,000). By contrast, the component of general merchandise stores that includes warehouse clubs and supercenters gained 93,000 jobs. In April, manufacturing employment dropped by 1.3 million. About two-thirds of the decline was in durable goods manufacturing (-914,000), which saw losses in motor vehicles and parts (-382,000) and in fabricated metal products (-109,000). Nondurable goods manufacturing shed 416,000 jobs.

Employment in the other services industry declined by 1.3 million in April, with nearly two-thirds of the decline occurring in personal and laundry services (-797,000). Government employment dropped by 980,000 in April. Employment in local government was down by 801,000, in part reflecting school closures. Employment also declined in state government education (-176,000).

Construction employment fell by 975,000 in April, with much of the loss in specialty trade contractors (-691,000). Job losses also occurred in construction of buildings (-206,000).  Employment fell in transportation and warehousing in April (-584,000). Transit and ground passenger transportation and air transportation lost 185,000 jobs and 141,000 jobs, respectively.  Wholesale trade shed 363,000 jobs in April, largely reflecting losses in the durable and nondurable goods components. Employment in financial activities fell by 262,000 over the month, with the vast majority of the decline occurring in real estate and rental and leasing (-222,000). Employment in information fell by 254,000 in April, driven by a decline in motion picture and sound recording industries (-217,000). Mining lost 46,000 jobs in April, with most of the decline occurring in support activities for mining (-33,000).

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by $1.34 to $30.01. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by $1.04 to $25.12 in April. The increases in average hourly earnings largely reflect the substantial job loss among lower-paid workers; this change, along with earnings increases, put upward pressure on the average hourly earnings estimates.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.2 hours in April. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 2.1 hours to 38.3 hours, and overtime declined by 0.9 hour to 2.1 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.5 hours.

The full BLS press release on the April 2020 employment situation can be accessed in the link below.

The next employment situation report for May 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 5, 2020. 


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BEA Releases 1st Qtr GDP-Advance Estimate

04.29.2020

Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 (table 1), according to the  advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2019, real GDP increased 2.1 percent. The decline in first quarter GDP was, in part, due to the response to the spread of COVID-19, as governments issued “stay-at-home” orders in March. This led to rapid changes in demand, as businesses and schools switched to remote work or canceled operations, and consumers canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the first quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.

The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter reflected negative contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and private inventory investment that were partly offset by positive contributions from residential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased. The decrease in PCE reflected decreases in services, led by health care, and goods, led by motor vehicles and parts. The decrease in nonresidential fixed investment primarily reflected a decrease in equipment, led by transportation equipment. The decrease in exports primarily reflected a decrease in services, led by travel.


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BLS Releases March 2020 Consumer Price Index (Apr. 2020)

04.10.2020

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.4 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest monthly decline since January 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

A sharp decline in the gasoline index was a major cause of the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index, with decreases in the indexes for airline fares, lodging away from home, and apparel also contributing. The energy index fell 5.8 percent as the gasoline index decreased 10.5 percent. The food index rose in March, increasing 0.3 percent as the food at home index rose 0.5 percent.

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1 percent in March, its first monthly decline since January 2010. Along with the indexes for airline fares, lodging away from home, and apparel, the index for new vehicles declined in March. The index for shelter was unchanged, with increases in the indexes for rent and for owners’ equivalent rent offsetting the aforementioned decline in the index for lodging away from home. Indexes that increased in March include medical care, used cars and trucks, motor vehicle insurance, and education.

The all items index increased 1.5 percent for the 12 months ending March, a notably smaller increase than the 2.3-percent increase for the period ending February. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the last 12 months. The food index rose 1.9 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index declined 5.7 percent.

Next release is Tuesday, May 12, 2020, for the April 2020 Consumer Price Index.


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BLS Releases February 2020 Consumer Price Index (March 2020)

03.11.2020

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the indexes for shelter and for food were the main causes of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index, more than offsetting a decline in the energy index. The food index increased 0.4 percent over the month, with the food at home index rising 0.5 percent, its largest monthly increase since May 2014. The index for energy fell 2.0 percent in February, with all of its major component indexes declining.   

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in February, the same increase as in January. Along with the index for shelter, the indexes for apparel, personal care, used cars and trucks, education, and medical care were among those that increased in February. The indexes for recreation and airline fares declined over the month.   

The all items index increased 2.3 percent for the 12 months ending February, a smaller increase than the 2.5-percent figure for the period ending January. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the last 12 months. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 2.8 percent over that period.

The release can be viewed at the link below. 


Next release is Friday, April 10, 2020, for the March 2020 Consumer Price Index.


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