Friday, May 08, 2009

Employment Report: 539K Jobs Lost, 8.9% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 5/08/2009 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in April (-539,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million jobs have been lost. In April, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries. Overall, private sector employment fell by 611,000.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 539,000 in April. March job losses were revised to
699,000. The economy has lost almost 4 million jobs over the last 6 months, and over 5.7 million jobs during the 16 consecutive months of job losses.

The unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent; the highest level since 1983.

Year over year employment is strongly negative (there were 5.2 million fewer Americans employed in Apr 2009 than in Apr 2008).

Stress Test Unemployment RateThe second graph shows the unemployment rate compared to the stress test economic scenarios on a quarterly basis as provided by the regulators to the banks (no link).

This is a quarterly forecast: in Q1 the unemployment rate was higher than the "more adverse" scenario. For Q2, April is already higher than the "more adverse" scenario, and will probably rise further in May and June.

Note also that the unemployment rate has already reached the peak of the "baseline scenario".

This is another weak employment report ... more soon.