In response to the March job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said:
Though the recent spikes in unemployment claims were not captured in the March report, we experienced our steepest monthly decline in payrolls in this report since March 2009. Especially hard hit were the lowest wage sectors of the economy: leisure and hospitality and brick and mortar sections of the retail industry. Going forward, based on the unemployment claim numbers, things will get worse.
He also tweeted:
Bad news, @BLS_gov reports drop of 701,000 in March (for the week that ended before the increase in crowd reduction orders) boosting the unemployment rate to 4.4%. The household survey reported 1.048 million increase in temporary layoff versus a smaller 172,000 permanent job loss— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
The average hourly earnings gain of 3.1% over last year is tainted because of the 701,000 jobs lost, 417,000 were in food and drinking service establishments and another 29,000 in accommodations. Leisure & hospitality is the lowest wage industry. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
Payrolls dropped (moving leftward on the graph) in almost all industries, with the biggest losses in leisure & hospitality. Higher wage industries (moving up in the graph) had fewer job losses. This change, in part boosted average wage growth to 3.1% over last year. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/gfSTYtcKmh— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
There was a big spike in the household survey of people reporting being on temporary layoff (the aqua colored line at the bottom) compared to permanent job losses (darker blue line). @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/438erLf8Fw— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
The biggest job loss, 459,000 jobs, was in leisure & hospitality. The frustration is that back in January and February it was well known that it may become necessary to limit public gatherings and to shut down this industry. So, this is not a shock. It is poor planning. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/hLEZzEVyMu— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
For those who do not understand American workers, and think that boosting the replacement rate of wages lost by increasing unemployment insurance, note that when Americans see massive job losses, they stop leaving jobs. This current job loss is planned, we have to plan better. pic.twitter.com/5GYf1eixgj— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
The monthly labor report is two separate surveys, one of households and one of payrolls from establishments. So, they don't have to always agree. The establishment survey reported a drop of 701,000 people on payroll, households (shown here) reported 1,223,000 people lost jobs pic.twitter.com/QZ6YWKrmqE— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 3, 2020
Last month's biggest job losses were in leisure and hospitality (-459,000), health care and social assistance (-61,000), professional and business services (-52,000), retail trade (-46,000), construction (-29,000), other services (-24,000), manufacturing (-18,000) and mining (-6,000). Federal government employment added 18,000 jobs, primarily 2020 Census workers. Employment in other major industries—including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities—changed little over the month.
In March, unemployment rates rose among all major worker groups. The rate was 14.3% for teenagers, 6.7% for blacks, 6.0 % for Hispanics, 4.1% for Asians, 4.0% for adult men, 4.0% for adult women and 4.0% for whites.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) showed little change in March and accounted for 15.9% of the unemployed.