The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 701,000 job losses in the month of March, which was much worse than expectations of approximately 150,000 losses.
There are two reports within the Jobs Report, the Business Survey, where the headline job number comes from and the Household Survey, where the Unemployment Rate comes from. There is a fundamental difference between these two reports – The Business Survey is based predominately on modeling, while the Household Survey is done by actual phone calls to homes and may have been more reflective of actual job losses.
While the Business Survey showed 701,000 losses, it’s likely very understated. Remember that there have been 10 Million individuals who filed for unemployment benefits over the past 2 weeks…so the losses have to accelerate. The Unemployment Rate increased from 3.5% to 4.4%.
While there were almost 3 Million job losses, over 1.6 Million people left the labor force. It would have been much higher otherwise. In addition to the job, small job creations in this service, the labor force decreased by 60,000. As a result, the unemployment rate dropped, but not exactly for the right reasons.
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