Reclaiming Common Sense

Unemployment Spiked during April - Not as Much as Experts Conjectured

Employment and Jobs Fell Dramatically - Not As Much as the Experts Projected


This column has written numerous articles regarding the monthly jobs reports. This was by far the worst jobs report ever. Jobs fell and unemployment spiked, according to the Current Population Survey. Workers were furloughed by the millions, according to the Current Employment Statistics data. The experts were expecting the unemployment level to spike to 25%. There were people thinking that we would see 20, 25, and even 30 million unemployed workers. The April Employment Situation Report was terrible. This was expected. It was sort of like "Police Academy 7." You knew it was going to be bad.


The Jobs Mountain Melted. The workforce population rose from 259.758 million to 259,896 million, meaning that we needed to roughly add 138,000 jobs to keep up with population growth and roughly 87,000 jobs to keep the workforce participation rate around 63.00%. We had 132.516 million full-time jobs this past August and 129.212 million full-time jobs during April 2019.  This April we saw 113.656 million non-seasonally adjusted  FT jobs. This is comparable to April of 2004 when we had 113.386 Million full-time jobs. (Charts 1 and 2 are from the April Empsit Report.)


Part-time Jobs did not replace Full-time Jobs. This month we saw the number of PT jobs reported at 19.670 million jobs million non-seasonally adjusted. Last month we had 27.187 million part-time jobs recorded . Last April we had 27.498 million part-time jobs. The last time we had this few part-time jobs during April was April 1986 when we had 19.647 million.


Unemployment spiked to 22.504 million or 14.4%. The most April Unemployed workers that we have had since 1947 was 11.035 million during April of 1983. The Unemployment rate hit 14.4%. The highest it had ever been since 1947 was 11.4% during January 1983. The highest April unemployment rate was 10.0% during April 1983 and then 9.5% during April of 2010. (See Chart 1)


The Participation rate fell to 60.0%.  This is the lowest April participation rate since April 1973 when it was 60.2%. This is remarkable because unemployed workers are participants. The unemployment level did not spike as much as the jobs level fell. This could be because people did not look for work.


Fewest April Non-Farm Payroll Workers since April 2004. This month we had 131.071 million NFP workers. Last month there were 150.583 million. Last April there were 150.430 million. The last time we had this small of a workforce during April was during April 2004 when there were 131.477 million workers. (See Chart 2)


Fewest April Government workers since April of 2004. We had 22.115 million government workers this April. Last month we had 23.052 million government workers. last April we had 22.948 million. We had 22.009 million April of 2004, 22.160 million April 2005, and 22.315 million government workers during April 2006.


Smallest private sector worker  level since April 2009. This April we had 108.956 million private sector workers. Last month we had 127.531 million workers. Last April there were 127.482 million private sector workers. April of 2009 there were 108.748 million workers.


This data is historic. The workers were furloughed. It was anticipated to be a temporary situation. We saw more than 20 million people lose there jobs, and we saw employers furlough more than 20 million workers because 1.259 million people contracted the Wuhan Virus and 76,032 residents lost their lives to the virus. There are 328 million residents in the united States. There are 3838 cases per million residents. This means that 3.838 people per thousand have been infected, or 0.38% of the US population. We killed a mosquito with a bazooka. It is time to reclaim some common sense and get back to work.


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