May 14, 2020

Historic job losses in April

 Employment plunged in April, with a record total of 20.5 million jobs lost for the month. The unemployment rate increased to 14.7%. This level of loss and the unemployment rate are post-World War II highs, and represent a partial reflection of the 33.5 million jobless claims that have been filed over the last seven weeks. Read More

While the numbers are staggering, it is important to note that they are due to government-imposed public health strategies. For example, there are now 18 million people on temporary furlough. Hopes for a faster rebound in economic activity lay with this number. While NAHB’s forecast is more U-shaped for the overall economy (we see continued economic weakness persisting into the third quarter due to small business issues and elevated unemployment), these temporary layoff totals give a sense of the number of people who believe their job will return as the economy reopens. Read More