The latest overall job loss numbers showed a loss of 663,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate climbed to 8.5%. This is the highest unemployment rate since 1983. The January numbers were revised to a loss of 741,000 but the February numbers were kept as previously reported. The January monthly job drop is the biggest we have seen since October 1949, when 834,000 jobs were lost. 5.1 million jobs have now been lost since this recession began. In the 2001 recession, monthly losses hit a high of 325,000. The 1990-91 recession peaked at 306,000 losses. As you can see from the chart below, numbers peak toward the end of a recession (past recessions are marked by grey bands), making employment a lagging indicator.
Here is a breakdown of where the job losses were as well as which sectors were adding jobs. Worst hit was manufacturing and professional services. Again, health services added the most jobs.
Total change in non-farm payroll = - 663,000
- Private Sector = - 658,000
- Natural Resources & Mining = - 18,000
- Construction = - 126,000
- Manufacturing = - 161,000
- Durable goods = - 125,000
- Non-durable goods = - 36,000
- Services = - 358,000
- Wholesale Trade = - 31,200
- Retail Trade = - 47,800
- Transportation = - 34,000
- Utilities = + 900
- Information & Media = - 10,000
- Financial Svcs & Real Estate = - 43,000
- Professional & Business Svcs = - 133,000
- Education = - 6,800
- Health Svcs = + 14,800
- Leisure = - 40,000
- Government = -5,000
Despite the high number of job losses, the expectations were in line and the futures remained slightly up on the news. In the pre-market, Alcoa , American Express , Citigroup , General Electric and General Motors are leading the Dow.
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