We all know that the longest job expansion in history ended on March 12, 2020, when we saw the last positive jobless claims print in the previous expansion. Currently, roughly around 33.5 million Americans have a filed for jobless claims in 7 weeks.
The last month’s jobs report didn’t capture the real destructive power of lockdown protocols due to this virus. However, today we got the most horrific one month jobs to report in recent history.
“Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality.”
“If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to “other reasons” had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been almost 5 percentage points higher than reported”
I have always been a big believer that sometimes a chart can tell a story much better than a human can.
For this report, I will let the charts do all the talking.
We have a lot of work to do as a country to get back to January & February BC (Before Coronavirus) data.
These are dark times. But even in dark times, we are preternaturally prepared to see the end of the tunnel. We learned in the human physiology class that the photoreceptors of the human eye can detect a single photon of light. While it may not be until nine or more photos hit the retina that we perceived light, we detect before we can perceive. Likewise, if we are diligent, we will be able to identify the return of hope and light coming back into the American economy before it is perceived by all those poor masked souls around us.
For HousingWire, I wrote 5 things we really want to see to know that the economy is genuinely headed from the AD ( After The Disease) stage into the AB (America is Back) Stage.
One of the data lines that I have been tracking has gotten a lot better recently.
St Louis Financial Stress Index: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/STLFSI2
To really declare victory for this one data line, we need to be under zero for some time.
Another data line people should be tracking is the Weekly Economic Index, this is tied more to economic data.
WEI Weekly Economic Index: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WEI
BC Before Coronavirus
AD After the Disease.
At some point, AB (America Is Back) will come. Until then, be careful and stay safe.
Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing market. Logan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group, which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data daily on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami and is a contributor for HousingWire.