US economy sheds jobs for first time since 2010 as coronavirus hits

US economy sheds jobs for first time since 2010 as coronavirus hits

Some reactions to the data are coming in now.

The non-farm payrolls number is, unusually, a lagging indicator this month, said James Ingram, investment manager at MB Capital. We know that almost 10m more Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits since the data were collected. He said:

Due to the cutoff point, it was expected the number would have largely missed the amount of Americans starting to be laid off or out of work from the corona virus outbreak but this figure of minus 701,000 alongside the jump in the unemployment rate to 4.4% was much worse than had been expected.

This brings a brutal end to the 9 year and 5 month run of positive numbers but we expect today’s numbers to be overshadowed by next month’s report by the fact that 10m US workers have made unemployment claims in the last three weeks meaning this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

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